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Fact-checking a claim about pay for women's soccer


Despite bringing in more money than their male counterparts, the U.S. women’s national soccer team is paid a lot less, according to a claim spreading around social media.

"Five All-Star Women’s World Cup Champions just sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for pay equity," reads an image posted on Facebook by The Other 98 Percent, a liberal advocacy group. "Last year, they generated $20 (million) more than the men’s team and were paid almost four times less."

Five members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, the reigning world champions, have indeed filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency that deals with employment discrimination, claiming the U.S. Soccer Federation pays them less than members on the male team. This comes amid a dispute between U.S. Soccer and the women’s team over their collective bargaining agreement.

The Other 98 Percent’s claim — that the women’s soccer team made $20 million more for U.S. Soccer than the men yet were paid four times less — comes from news reports about the equal pay complaint, filed by players Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn.

The complaint itself does not claim either of these figures. Instead, it says more generally that the women’s team has generated significant revenue and that women’s national team members "have been paid and continue to be paid substantially less than (men’s national team) players." So we wanted to see if these numbers in The Other 98 Percent’s graphic add up.

Keep reading Lauren Carroll's fact-check from PunditFact.