UltraViolet Praises Legislation to Close Gender Pay Gap for Athletes Representing U.S. Olympic Team

Women’s Group Says Fight for Equal Pay Speaks to the Larger Gender Pay Gap Impacting Millions Nationwide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 28, 2021
CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com

WASHINGTON, DC — Last week, a group of Democratic women in Congress introduced legislation that would guarantee equal pay between U.S. national team athletes and personnel regardless of gender

According to The Hill, the “Even Playing Field Act” was introduced by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Patty Murray (Wash.) along with Reps. Jackie Speier (Calif.), Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), Lois Frankel (Fla.), Veronica Escobar (Texas) and Sylvia Garcia (Texas). The House bill is co-sponsored by more than 20 Democratic representatives.

In reaction to the bill’s introduction, Bridget Todd, Communications Director of UltraViolet, a leading national gender justice organization, explained: 

“Women within the United States Olympic delegation have proven themselves time and again as the best athletes in the world. They’ve earned championships and gold medals and provided us all with an often rare source of national pride. 

Despite this, champion athletes, including the US women’s soccer team, are still paid less than their male counterparts. This fight for equal pay speaks to a larger pay gap that exists throughout the country. 

“Women lose more than $400,000 in earnings over a lifetime because of it — that number is double for many women of color. The Even Playing Field Act is a step in the right direction to close the pay gap for US athletes.”

In 2015, Ultraviolet pressured FIFA to close the gender pay gap after the Women’s World Cup champions netted $2 million, while the 2014 men’s World Cup netted $35 million. The U.S. men’s team was awarded a $8 million prize after losing in the Round of 16 of the World Cup in 2014. More than 72,000 UltraViolet members signed a petition demanding FIFA pay equal prizes for the winners of the Women’s World Cup.

In 2016, UltraViolet ran a TV ad calling for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team players to receive equal pay for equal play during finals at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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