New York's governor thanked the USWNT for leading the fight for equal pay.

By Emily Caron
July 10, 2019

In a press conference held before the celebratory ticker-tape parade for the U.S. women's national team kicked off in lower Manhattan, New York governor Andrew Cuomo took a stand for equal pay, signing the new "Equal Pay for Equal Work" legislation into law on the streets of New York City.

“There is no rationale that the women should not get paid what the men get paid,” Cuomo said, per assembled media. “...We say to the U.S. Soccer league and we say to FIFA, if you don’t pay women what you pay men, then you have no business in the state of New York.”

Cuomo thanked the team for helping to lead the fight for equality. Cuomo accompanied the team on the float thereafter, joining in as the team chanted for equitable compensation.

The team continued their charge during the parade, passing around a sign that read, "Parades are cool. Equal pay is cooler."

28 members of the USWNT including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and more filed a federal complaint which accused U.S. Soccer of “institutionalized gender discrimination," which is a violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The team's lawsuit asserts that, despite the women's team enjoying considerably more success than the U.S. men’s national team, women's players earn as little as 38% as similarly situated men's players. The players also charge that they are subjected to substantially inferior playing, training and travel conditions.

In its response, U.S. Soccer said it obeyed the law and didn't discriminate against female players. The team's battle for equal pay is ongoing, but, as Cuomo's opening remarks highlighted, has not gone unnoticed. More than 50 members of Congress wrote to U.S. Soccer after their World Cup win asking to know why players on the U.S. women’s team are still receiving inferior wages, working conditions and investment.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin introduced a bill to Congress on Tuesday that would prohibit the use of federal funds for the 2026 World Cup–which the U.S. is set to host–until the women's national team receives equal pay to their male counterparts from the U.S. Soccer Federation. 

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