The judge in the United States women’s soccer team’s lawsuit rejected the players’ claims for equal pay on Friday, delivering a crushing blow to the team’s five-year campaign against the United States Soccer Federation.
The judge, R. Gary Klausner of United States District Court for the Central District of California, sided with the federation’s argument in what is called a motion for summary judgment. Effectively, he dismissed the players’ arguments that they were systematically underpaid by U.S. Soccer in comparison with the men’s national team.
Klausner’s decision preserved the players’ claims about unequal treatment in housing, travel and other areas. A trial on those issues is scheduled to begin June 16.
Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the players, said they would appeal Klausner’s decision on their equal-pay arguments.
“We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay,” Levinson said in a statement. “We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women who play this sport will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender.
“We have learned that there are tremendous obstacles to change; we know that it takes bravery and courage and perseverance to stand up to them. We will appeal and press on.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.