Megan Rapinoe, co-captain of the United States women's football squad, has vowed she will never give up the fight for equality after a federal judge threw out her team's claim for equal pay with their male counterparts.
Rapinoe and her teammates were left "shocked" when judge Gary Klausner ruled the pay case did not warrant a trial, though their allegation of discriminatory working conditions will go to court in June. Rapinoe, a two-time World Cup winner who has been a leading voice in the fight against US Soccer, responded to the ruling by tweeting: "We will never stop fighting for equality."
In March 2019, the World Cup holders sued US Soccer, claiming they had not been paid equally, under their collective bargaining agreement, to what the male players received through their labour deal. They demanded more than $66m in back-pay. US Soccer argued the women actually made more than the men, both overall and by game average, while the women claimed they should have the same bonus structure as the men.
The dispute took a particularly unsavoury turn during March's SheBelieves Cup, when a submission from US Soccer lawyers claimed that playing for its men's team "requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength" than for the women's team. The document drew criticism from sponsors and led to the resignation of Carlos Cordeiro as US Soccer Federation president.