Hope Solo slams USWNT after equal pay settlement

Former USA goalkeeper Hope Solo is “infuriated” USWNT players agreed to a $24 million deal with the US Soccer Federation to settle their class-action lawsuit over equal pay.

Solo took aim at former teammates Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan in a fiery Instagram post, accusing the pair of taking “an easy way out of a fight they were never really in.”

In 2016, Solo, Rapinoe, and Morgan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming the women’s team should receive pay equal to that of the men’s team. They were later joined by Carli Lloyd and Rebecca Sauerbrunn.

“Six years ago, we started the fight for equal pay, something I’m very proud to say I led when I pushed to bring on a new Players Association Executive Director, Rich Nichols, someone I knew would truly fight for us and give us the tools to challenge a Federation that marginalized us for decades,” Solo wrote. “His strategy to file the EEOC complaint was the boldest action any team had ever taken. It wasn’t an easy ask of anyone, and at the time, the decision went against the wishes of other players on the team now being called the ‘leaders’ of this fight. 

“Throughout the entire process, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan were the two most agreeable with the Federation and to this day, continue to to accept terms that are nowhere near what we set out to do. They both know this is not a win. They know it’s an easy out of a fight they were never really in.”

Hope Solo
Hope Solo took aim at Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan of the USWNT in the wake of the equal pay settlement
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After a six-year battle with the American sport’s governing body, the USWNT settled for a third of the amount it originally sought in damages.

Rapinoe called the settlement a “huge win” Tuesday on NBC’s “Today.” Solo, however, disagreed.

“This settlement is not a ‘huge win.’ It’s heartbreaking and infuriating,” Solo wrote in her lengthy Instagram post, which also featured a photo of a quote from the joint statement released by the USWNT and US Soccer Federation. “A ‘promise’ of equal pay from the Federation and backpay for a select group of players isn’t equal pay and it’s not what this fight was about.

Megan Rapinoe (#15) and Alex Morgan (#13) in July 2019
Megan Rapinoe (#15) and Alex Morgan (#13) in July 2019
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“Read the fine print. ‘Contingent upon the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement.’ It doesn’t exist yet and is not guaranteed. If the players had ever been successful in negotiating an equal CBA, there would’ve been no reason to sue the Federation in the first place.”

The USWNT will split $22 million, according to a press release, with the USSF also adding an additional $2 million into an account to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women. Each woman may receive up to $50,000 from the latter fund.

In the agreement, the USSF committed to equal pay for the men’s and women’s national teams — including World Cup bonuses — pending a new collective bargaining agreement.

Solo ahead of a 2014 match against Guatemala
Solo ahead of a 2014 soccer match
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In Wednesday’s post, Solo also paid tribute to former USWNT captain Christie Rampone and Hall of Fameer Abby Wambach, both of whom were part of the team that won the 2015 World Cup.

“The players who got us to where we are today are people like Christie Rampone who stepped up to interview with the EEOC,” Solo wrote. “She and I were the only two players to do so. Players like Christie, Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx, Heather O’Reilly, Amy Rodriguez, Sydney Leroux, Lauren Cheney, Lori Chalupny and everyone else on the 2015 team who set this fight in motion will not benefit from the selfishness and inequality of this settlement. It also guarantees nothing to the next generation of players. The equal pay case against US Soccer I filed on behalf of the Team long before the Team sued, still stands and I remain committed to fighting for all players — past, present and future.”

This wasn’t the first time Solo spoke out against the USWNT. Last January, she claimed the team was not doing enough in its fight for equal pay.