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Reports: US Soccer, in pay discrimination suit, claims players don't perform equal work

In court filings, lawyers for the federation reportedly also said that the men's team takes part in more revenue-generating tournaments than the women.
Credit: AP
U.S. forwards Lynn Williams, left, and Megan Rapinoe celebrate the goal by Williams during the first half of a CONCACAF women's Olympic qualifying soccer match against Panama on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Attorneys for U.S. Soccer reportedly argued in court filings that players on the men's and women's national teams don't perform equal work, according to multiple reports. The filings were part of a wage discrimination lawsuit by members of the U.S. Women's National Team.

The filings are responses to motions for the judge to make a summary judgement instead of opting for a jury trial on May 5.

In addition to arguing physical differences, U.S. Soccer argued that women's soccer is effectively easier than men's soccer, according to ESPN.com.

"There is a significantly deeper pool of competition in men's international soccer than there is in women's international soccer, even when assessing the issue in relative terms," the defense motion reportedly read.

RELATED: USWNT downs Panama 8-0 in Olympic qualifying tournament

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It also argued that the World Cup is the only prize money tournament the women's team plays in, according to ESPN. There are more revenue-generating events for the men including Copa America and the Gold Cup. The Olympics does not have prize money.

A spokesperson for the women's team players fired back.

"It sounds as if it has been made by a caveman. Literally everyone in the world understands that an argument that male players 'have more responsibility' is just plain, simple sexism and illustrates the very gender discrimination that caused us to file this lawsuit to begin with," said Molly Levison, according to ESPN.

Lawyers for the players reportedly noted that men and women firefighter are expected to have same skill and effort in their jobs, and they would not be allowed to be paid differently.

Players are seeking $66 million in damages.

On Wednesday, a few players were spotted with their jerseys inside out, hiding the U.S. Soccer crest.