Judge Dismisses U.S. Women's National Soccer Team's Claim Of Unequal Pay
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
The reigning World Cup champion U.S. women's soccer team is vowing to fight on after a judge dismissed their claim of unequal pay with their male counterparts. The judge said that their claims are not enough to warrant a trial. NPR's Tom Goldman is covering this for us and has a quick update on this breaking story.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi. How are you?
CHANG: Good. So just tell us a little more about the judge's ruling.
GOLDMAN: Well, federal Judge R. Gary Klausner in California ruled in favor of U.S. soccer - the federation - their motion for summary judgment with regard to the Equal Pay Act. The judge said the players had not demonstrated a triable issue that women's national team players are paid less than the men's national team players. And the federation had maintained that women's player - women players were paid more in total and on a per-game basis during the period in question in this case, and the judge agreed. Ailsa, the players' claim about unequal treatment with housing, travel and other areas - that is still triable, in the legal term. A trial on those issues is scheduled for June.
CHANG: OK, so just step back for a moment. And remind us - what was this lawsuit about more broadly?
GOLDMAN: Well, the big part of it was the equal pay, and it became a cause celeb for the U.S. women's team that won the World Cup last year in such dominating fashion. And they won even more fans in their quest for equal pay. No sooner had they won the cup, you might have remembered, that fans in the stands could be heard chanting, equal pay; equal pay.
GOLDMAN: But at least that part of this lawsuit has been thrown out by the judge now.
CHANG: And real briefly, what reactions have you heard so far to the judge's ruling today?
GOLDMAN: A spokesperson for the players, Molly Levinson, released a statement and said, in part, we are shocked and disappointed with today's decision, but we will not give up on our hard work for equal pay. A couple of the prominent players, of course, Megan Rapinoe - she tweeted, we will never stop fighting for equality. Tobin Heath said, this team never gives up, and we're not going to start now.
CHANG: That is NPR's Tom Goldman.
Thank you, Tom.
GOLDMAN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.