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Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan Equal Pay for Team USA Act, led by U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), along with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.). The legislation would ensure equal pay for all Americans who represent the United States in global athletic competitions, like the World Cup and Olympics, regardless of gender. The bill must now pass the House.

“When American athletes compete on the world stage, they represent our great nation, our people, and our values. It is only right that the women competing for the United States in global athletic competitions receive the same kind of pay and benefits as their male counterparts. This is an issue we can address together, not as Democrats and Republicans, but as Americans, and I’m proud to join Senator Cantwell in pushing to get this legislation across the finish line,” Senator Capito said.

“The Equal Pay for Team USA Act requires the U.S. Olympic Committee and the governing bodies to provide the same pay, medical care, and coverage of expenses to U.S. athletes regardless of gender – or risk decertification,” Senator Cantwell said. “By passing the bill out of the Senate, we’re sending a message to all the young girls who dream of a future in sports – you will get equal pay for your success. I will continue to push the House to get this finally passed into law.”

“The joy of sports depends on an even playing field, but our athletes shouldn’t have to fight to get the same pay for the same work,” Senator Klobuchar said. “That’s why I’m proud to have worked on the bipartisan Equal Pay for Team USA Act. With this bill, we have a chance to walk the walk and show the world that the U.S. values all of our athletes. There’s no reason any athlete with ‘U-S-A’ written on their uniform should bring home a smaller paycheck just because of their gender.”

“The female athletes that compete under the American flag on the global stage have worked and trained just as hard as their male counterparts, and should be compensated equally. In my home state of Wyoming, proudly known as the Equality State, we have a long history of trailblazing equality among men and women. I am proud to join Senators Cantwell, Capito, and Klobuchar to ensure equality for our female athletes and I am pleased to see this legislation one step closer to becoming law,” Senator Lummis said.

“U.S. women have been at the forefront of the modern Olympic and Paralympic movements for more than 120 years. Female Olympians and Paralympians have trained, excelled, and inspired generations of girls. The Equal Pay for Team USA Act will build upon the USOPC’s established commitment to parity in its support of female and male athletes competing on behalf of the United States, and it will help America continue to lead in advancing equality and opportunity in international sport,” Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee said.

“At U.S. Soccer, we’re immensely proud of the work we did with our Women’s and Men’s National Teams to achieve equal pay. The U.S. Senate has sent a clear message that this is the standard for all national teams in all sports and it underscores the importance of working with our athletes to achieve equal pay including equalizing international prize money,” Cindy Parlow Cone, President of the U.S. Soccer Federation said.

Currently, men and women can be, and in many cases are, paid differently for representing Team USA in the same sport. In 2019, when the world-champion U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) sued for equal pay, Sens. Cantwell and Capito teamed up to introduce a bipartisan bill that amplified the chorus of voices demanding equal pay for Team USA.

In September, Senators Capito and Cantwell joined leaders of U.S. Soccer, USWNT, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) and Seattle OL Reign player Megan Rapinoe, for the signing of historic Collective Bargaining Agreements, which guarantee players are paid equally.

Author: Press Release


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