By Ken Reed
The U.S. Soccer Federation and the men’s and women’s national teams recently agreed to side-by-side collective bargaining agreements that will equalize pay and working conditions for both teams. It’s a landmark deal, years in the making, and it will boost soccer for all stakeholders in the United States. It also sends a powerful message to the rest of the world that gender equality in soccer is possible. The two CBA deals will have “identical terms” and run through 2028.
As Yahoo! Sports reporter Harry Bushnell writes, the joint CBAs:
“will position both sets of players among the most well-compensated national team players in the world. The men, who had been playing under the terms of a CBA that expired in 2018, will make more per game than they had in the past, and more than their counterparts on superior men’s teams around the world.”
The new agreements bring the women’s and men’s teams together as partners with a joint mission: “to raise soccer’s profile in the United States, and capitalize financially as they do.”
Former U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) player and current U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone, called the CBA deals “a truly historic moment.” U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) player Tyler Adams said he was “extremely proud.” Walker Zimmerman, another USMNT player said “[W]e believe in the whole premise of equal pay. And ultimately, that was a big driving force for us.”
It’s not just pay that will be equal in the new CBAs but working conditions for the national teams as well, including practice facilities, venues, surfaces, travel accommodations, equitable staffing for coaches, etc.
Equal treatment has been a long battle for members of the women’s national team. With these CBA agreements, the mission appears to be accomplished.
“I have been in this for over 20 years, fighting for equal pay,” said Cone. “It’s just such a proud moment to actually be a leader in this, to be the first to do it.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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