The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a landmark bill ensuring equal pay for all athletes representing the country in international competitions.
Senator Maria Cantwell first introduced the Equal Pay for Team USA Act in 2019 after a gender discrimination lawsuit by the Women’s National Soccer Team brought equal pay claims against U.S. Soccer.
The Act, which now requires President Biden’s signature to become law, will mean all athletes who represent the U.S. in the Olympics or in global athletic competitions will receive equal pay and benefits.
Benefits include equal medical care, travel, and reimbursement payments. The Act will cover over 50 sports and will be supervised by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
Senator Cantwell credited the U.S. Women’s Soccer team for leading the charge “after winning the World Cup and making it clear to everyone that women athletes deserve equal pay”.
“This is a strong message to female athletes…across the United States: you deserve – and now you will have – equal pay. And this is a win for Team USA!”
“By sending this legislation to the President, both houses have 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,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone in a statement.