The headlines coming out of the FIFA Women's World Cup were that the US won it for the second straight time and that they wanted to get equal pay. Today, the US Soccer Federation came out with an open letter explaining that the USWNT's complaints of equal pay are unfounded and incorrect.
In the letter, USSF President Carlos Cordeiro says that the USWNT has actually been paid more than the Men's team. From 2010-2018, Cordeiro's letter claims that the WNT earned $34.1 million in salaries and bonuses while the Men's team were paid $26.4 million over that span. That's a $7.7 million difference or almost $1 million a year more.
"Just as our WNT players have shared their perspective, I strongly believe that you -- as U.S. Soccer members, stakeholders, sponsors and partners -- deserve to hear ours," Cordeiro wrote. "Now that the Women's World Cup is behind us, a common understanding of key facts will also help advance our shared work to grow women's soccer in America as well as the larger national discussion about equality."
Cordeiro explained that these findings were verified by a third party accounting firm and did not include World Cup bonuses. If included, the men would then out make the women at $41 million to $39 million, but Cordeiro explains that USSF should not be held responsible for the World Cup payouts and that USSF is constantly pushing for equal pay on that front.
"This is a sad attempt by the USSF to quell the overwhelming tide of support the USWNT has received from everyone from fans to sponsors to the United States Congress," spokesperson Molly Levinson said, per ESPN. "The USSF has repeatedly admitted that it does not pay the women equally and that it does not believe the women even deserve to be paid equally. This is why they use words like 'fair' and 'equitable,' not 'equal,' in describing pay."