Legislation ensures all Team USA athletes—regardless of gender—receive equal pay and benefits in global competition
WASHINGTON, D.C.— On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, approved the bipartisan S.2333 Equal Pay for Team USA Act of 2021, sending it to the full Senate. The legislation, introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Committee, and Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), would ensure equal pay for all Americans who represent our country in global athletic competitions, like the Olympics, regardless of gender.
“I can think of no more appropriate way to pay tribute to the legacy of Title IX and all it has done for women and girls’ to participate in sports over the last 50 years than to pass this bipartisan bill on the eve of its 50th anniversary,” said Sen. Cantwell. “The bill we are voting on represents months of work with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, advocates, and bipartisan colleagues, to ensure that men and women competing internationally for Team USA receive equal compensation, benefits, medical care, travel and coverage of expenses.”
“Currently, men and women can be and are paid differently for representing Team USA in the same exact sport,” Sen. Capito said. “The Equal Pay for Team USA Act will ensure that all Americans who represent our country in global athletic competition are paid equal and receive equal benefits. It's that simple, equal pay for equal play. As a woman, a sports fan, and the mother of a female athlete myself, I'm proud to cosponsor and support this legislation, which Senator Cantwell and I have worked on for several years, and happy to see it advance today.”
“The joy of sports depends on an even playing field, but our athletes shouldn’t have to fight to get the same pay for the same work,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “That’s why I’m proud to have worked on the bipartisan Equal Pay for Team USA Act. With this bill, we have a chance to walk the walk and show the world that the U.S. values all of our athletes. There’s no reason any athlete with “U-S-A” written on their uniform should bring home a smaller paycheck just because of their gender.”
“In my home state of Wyoming, also known as the Equality State, we believe that men and women are inherently equal,” said Sen. Lummis. “The female athletes that compete under the American flag on the global stage have worked and trained just as hard as their male counterparts, so they should get paid the same. I am proud to join Senators Cantwell, Capito, and Klobuchar to fight for equality for our female athletes.”
“U.S. women have been at the forefront of the modern Olympic and Paralympic movements for more than 120 years,” said Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. “Female Olympians and Paralympians have trained, excelled, and inspired generations of girls. The Equal Pay for Team USA Act will build upon the USOPC’s established commitment to parity in its support of female and male athletes competing on behalf of the United States, and it will help America continue to lead in advancing equality and opportunity in international sport.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team settled their longstanding lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, reaching an agreement on a deal to be compensated at the same rate of pay as the men’s team.
The bipartisan Equal Pay for Team USA Act would require that all athletes representing the United States in global amateur athletic competitions receive equal compensation and benefits for their work, regardless of gender. It also would require equal payment for medical care, travel and expenses.
The bill applies to 50 different sports’ national governing bodies, and it requires the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to conduct oversight and report on compliance with the legislation.
Sens. Cantwell and Capito introduced the bipartisan legislation in July 2021.
Read the full text HERE.
Organizations Supporting the Equal Pay for Team USA Act:
- Alliance of Social Workers in Sports
- American Volleyball Coaches Association
- Athlete Ally
- Center for Sport, Peace & Society – University of Tennessee
- Champion Women
- Equality League
- Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media
- National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
- National Organization for Women
- National Women’s Law Center
- Sports Fans Coalition
- The Female Quotient
- The Tucker Center – University of Minnesota
- Trajectory Women
- UN Women
- US Olympic and Paralympic Committee
- US Soccer
- US Squash
- USA Curling
- USA Volleyball
- USA Water Ski & Wake Sports
- West Virginia University Women’s Soccer Team
- Women Win
- Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association
- Women’s Sports Foundation
- Wrestle Like a Girl