The U.S. Soccer Federation has reportedly hired a lobbying firm to refute claims of a pay gap after posting a public letter explaining that the U.S. Women’s National Team is actually not underpaid.
The federation’s move also comes on the heels of a bill introduced by two liberal Senators — Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) — that would require Olympic and amateur athletes to be paid equally, USA Today reported.
According to the paper, “FBB Federal Relations and Van Ness Feldman are working on behalf of U.S. Soccer and are circulating a presentation that states the women made more money than the men last year.”
“Due to the large number of requests we’ve received from policymakers since the Women’s World Cup, we are taking the proper steps to make sure that those leaders have accurate information and factual numbers that will inform them about the unmatched support and investment the U.S. Soccer Federation has provided as a leader in women’s football across the world,” Neil Buethe, a U.S. Soccer spokesman told Politico when the news broke.
In July, U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro released an open letter revealing information that turned the “equal pay” debate on its head by saying that, not only has the women’s team been paid more than the men, their league has lost millions of dollars in the process.
Still, the U.S. Women’s team spoke out against the lobbying effort.
Spokeswoman Molly Levinson said she is “stunned and disappointed” that the U.S. Soccer Federation “would spend sponsor dollars and revenue to advocate against laws that ensure that women are paid equally to men.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.