Equal Pay for Team USA passes the Senate

The Senate passed the Equal Pay for Team USA Act by unanimous consent. Unanimous consent is an agreement in the Senate that sets aside a rule of procedure to expedite proceedings. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives. 

“It’s been a long road to this moment,” said Hope Solo, Olympic gold-medalist and World Cup Champion. “It’s almost unbelievable that after years of fighting for equality, not just for women’s soccer but for all of America’s Olympians, we are on the cusp of providing what the women who represent our nation deserve.” 

“This is a monumental moment for women’s sports,” said Brian Hess, Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition. “This bill is the culmination of years of advocacy by athletes, civil rights leaders, and sports fans. We commend each member of the Senate for agreeing to allow this bill to proceed unopposed and thank Senators Cantwell and Capito for their tireless leadership. We hope the House of Representatives will pass this vital legislation expeditiously.”

The fight for equal pay for women Olympians began in 2015 when Hope Solo, sued the US Soccer Federation (USSF). Solo’s suit alleged that the USSF violated the Equal Pay Act. In 2018 Solo joined the Sports Fans Coalition board and has continued to lead the fight for equality. In May 2021, she and West Virginia University Women’s Soccer coaches Nikki Izzo-Brown and Lisa Stoia wrote a letter to Senators Maria Cantwell (D WA) and Shelley Moore Capito (R WV) calling for the introduction of the legislation. The bill was reintroduced shortly after. 

A year later, the US Senate Commerce Committee unanimously passed the bill. At that time, SFC Executive Director, Brian Hess said,  “At times this fight has felt like playing a championship game with an outnumbered team, but this is a historic moment in the movement for equal pay.”

Sports Fans Coalition once again applauds the leadership of Senators Cantwell and Capito for getting the bill to this point. We look forward to finishing the fight with them and enshrining equality for all US Olympians in law. 

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