“In a joint statement, the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association and U.S. Soccer Federation said they have “ratified a new collective bargaining agreement which will continue to build the women’s program in the U.S., grow the game of soccer worldwide and improve the professional lives of players on and off the field. We are proud of the hard work and commitment to thoughtful dialogue reflected through this process, and look forward to strengthening our partnership moving forward.”
In recent years, the players have raised issues about compensation and working conditions compared to their male counterparts, casting a shadow over the efforts of the most successful women’s team in soccer history and pitting the federation against wildly popular athletes, such as Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan.
In March 2016, the players filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charging the USSF with wage discrimination. The case remains active.
Financial specifics were not immediately available, but people with knowledge of the pact said it includes:
Increase in direct compensation
Increase in bonus compensation
Enhanced benefits related to travel and hotels
Per diem equal to the U.S. men’s team
Greater financial support for players who are pregnant
Financial support for players adopting a child
Also, in a key gain, the players’ association will now control group likeness rights for licensing and nonexclusive rights in sponsorship categories where USSF does not have an agreement.”
When women make progress in arenas typically identified as exclusively male, sexual representations are used to establish cultural boundaries that reproduce male supremacy (Birrell & McDonald, 2000; Robinson, 2002). It is no accident that Danica Patrick’s success in Formula One racing was coupled with a semi nude photo shoot in Sports Illustrated’s hallowed (soft porn) “swimsuit edition” in 2008. This strategy for preserving male supremacy is borne out in a recent study (Kane, 2008) on the effect of sexist marketing strategies for women’s sports. Kane found that the use of sexual objectification as a marketing tool, rather than building a greater fan base and greater interest in women’s sports, actually undermines the female/pro-female (parents of girls, for example) fan base of women’s sports while failing to generate a male fan base.
Ann Travers, “The Sport Nexus and Gender Injustice” in Studies in Social Justice 2 (2008): 79–101, p.84