Megan Rapinoe reacts to historic equal pay agreement

Lizzy Becherano
Megan Rapinoe reacts to historic equal pay agreement.
Megan Rapinoe reacts to historic equal pay agreement. / Brad Smith/ISI Photos/GettyImages

The U.S. Soccer Federation made history on May 18 after announcing the union for the United States men's and women's national soccer teams had successfully ratified new collective bargaining agreements that include unprecedented terms of equal pay.

The two CBA’s will go into effect on June 1, and last until the end of 2028. The contracts are highlighted by the provision that will combine and split World Cup prize Money awarded by FIFA to both U.S. national teams.

The U.S. Soccer added they stand as the first national federation to equalize World Cup prize money. 

“This is a truly historic moment. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. 

“U.S. Soccer and the USWNT and USMNT players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States.”

After several years of fighting, U.S. soccer figures accomplished what often appeared to be impossible. Megan Rapinoe stood at the forefront of the struggle, but now the USWNT is celebrating considerably the biggest win in American soccer.

“I don’t think you can overstate how huge this is not just for us, but hopefully, kind of setting a new tone going forward,” said Rapinoe, speaking Friday after a training session of her OL Reign squad at Bellarmine Prep High School.

“I feel like we’re just building blocks on each other. I think this fighting spirit that we have, and just our inability and unwillingness to quit or take less, or to be quiet about the inequities that we face, comes from them — ‘91, and ‘95 and ’99. And all of those players that came before — that’s the DNA, that’s the fabric, that’s why we’re here fighting the way that we are,” Rapinoe added. 

“I know they won’t see the benefits of it. I’ll barely see the benefits of it. But I hope everybody takes pride in knowing that they were a huge part in hopefully seismically shifting soccer in this country for women.”

Beyond the World Cup, the new CBA also codified identical compensation in all competitions, and ensures commercial revenue to be split equally. The men’s and women’s teams will also see equivalent performance-based bonuses for games and competitions. The payment structure for the women’s side is set to undergo changes as well, abandoning guaranteed salaries for some players to a pay-to-play structure as seen on the men’s side.  

“This is some really cool legacy stuff for our group of players who, on the field and off, I think has been as successful as any group of players ever,” stated Rapinoe.