WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is demanding equal pay for women in sports this week, as he has joined his colleagues on two bills pushing to get women in professional and amateur sports the wages they deserve. Right now, female athletes are paid significantly lower than their male counterparts, despite performing the same, if not better work. Brown is working with his colleagues to close this pay gap, sponsoring the Equal Pay for U.S. Soccer Act and the Athletics Fair Pay Act.
“The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team has proven they are the best in the world and should be paid as such. It’s past time that women in sports and all careers are paid the wages they have earned,” said Brown.
The Equal Pay for U.S. Soccer Act would prohibit the use of federal funds for the 2026 World Cup, unless the United States Soccer Federation provides equitable pay to the members of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is leading this legislation.
The Athletics Fair Pay Act would:
- Clarify the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act to require equitable pay for female athletes in amateur athletics, and
- Add new reporting requirements for national sports governing bodies to report athlete pay, and provide an annual report to Congress on athlete pay, broken down by race and gender.
Despite winning four FIFA Women’s World Cups, competing at the highest levels and long outperforming their male counterparts, the U.S. Soccer Federation pays the Women’s National Team as little as 38 cents on the dollar compared to the Men’s National Team. Brown’s Athletics Fair Pay Act will work to close gender pay gaps in U.S. Soccer and other sports. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) are leading this legislation.