Breaking down the USMNT’s support for USWNT in equal pay fight; more takeaways from new legal filings

Breaking down the USMNT’s support for USWNT in equal pay fight; more takeaways from new legal filings

On Friday, as the U.S. women’s national team was advancing to the semifinals of the Olympic tournament over the Netherlands via penalty kicks, four amicus briefs were filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the USWNT players’ appeal in the equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. 

The most notable brief included full support from the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA), the union for the U.S. men’s team players. A fifth was filed later in the day by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) itself, where the team’s legal battle originally began in 2016 as a complaint filed by five players.

Amicus briefs — which are supporting briefs that offer wider viewpoints beyond the two parties in a lawsuit, most typically filed by advocacy groups that might have an interest in the outcome of an appeal — also came from more expected sources. Three more such documents were filed by a collection of 15 former federal officials who previously worked for the EEOC and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), 65 various organizations led by the National Women’s Law Center and the Women’s Sports Foundation, and Georgetown University’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection. 

The two briefs that will certainly garner the most attention, however, are the one from the men’s players association and the EEOC.

The amicus briefs were due one week after the opening appeal brief, filed last Friday with the Ninth Circuit. All of the amicus briefs filed today echo the primary argument made by the players’ in their opening brief: that the district court only considered total compensation rather than calculating a rate of pay that includes both appearances and performance, and the district court erred when it found for U.S.

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