Equal Pay for Team USA Act reintroduced by Senators Cantwell, Capito ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Two members of the U.S. Senate reintroduced legislation Tuesday that would ensure equal pay for all Americans who represent the country in global athletic competition, regardless of gender.

The Equal Pay for Team USA Act would require that all athletes representing the United States — from those competing in National Team programs to those in the Olympics — receive equal pay for equal play. Not only is financial compensation part of the bill, but it also would ensure that all athletes are afforded the same benefits, medical care, travel budget and reimbursement of expenses.

Senators Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., A longtime advocate for athlete’s financial rights, and Shelley Moore-Capito, R-W.Va., Reintroduced the bill just days before the Tokyo Olympics and on the heels of the NCAA’s recent policy change regarding name, image and likeness (NIL). They first introduced the bill in 2019.

The Equal Pay for Team USA Act applies to the national governing bodies for 50 sports and also require the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee to monitor those organizations and hold them accountable for remaining compliant.

“All Americans are proud to see U.S. Athletes represent our country on the world stage, and all Americans should be assured these athletes are being compensated equally,” Cantwell said. “Anything short of that sends exactly the wrong message across the world and here at home about the American commitment to equality and fairness. It is long past time for us to work together to right this wrong and get this done.”.

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One of the most notable examples of the fight for equal pay in athletics are players on the U.S. Women’s National Team, who are in the appeals process of a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The women’s team, which is the favorite to win gold this summer at the Games, has made the podium in five of the past six.

Players on the USWNT sued the USSF in 2019, arguing that they had not received equal pay under their collective bargaining agreement compared to the men’s team, which has seen less success in international competition.

“It is only right that the women competing for the United States in global athletic competitions receive the same kind of pay and benefits as their male counterparts,” Capito said. “This is an issue we can address together, not as Democrats and Republicans, but as Americans, and I’m proud to join Senator Cantwell in introducing this legislation.”.

Contact Alyssa Hertel at [email protected] or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.

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