June 09, 2021

Manchin, Cantwell Introduce Bill To Require Equal Pay For U.S. Soccer Teams

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) led 13 Senators in introducing the Give Our Athletes Level Salaries (GOALS) Act, which would require the U.S. Soccer Federation to agree to providing equitable pay to both the women’s and men’s national teams in order to receive federal funds related to the 2026 World Cup.
“Yesterday, the Senate failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to remove obstacles that currently allow employers to discriminate against their employees. This was a commonsense bill and I am disappointed we were unable to come together to support equal pay for all,” said Senator Manchin. “While we were unable to pass the much needed legislation last night, today I’m introducing the GOALS Act with my Senate colleagues to ensure that, our phenomenal U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team are paid equitably compared to their male counterparts in order to receive any federal funds for the 2026 World Cup. The first vote I took as a Senator was to support paycheck fairness, and to this day, I am proud to lead the fight for equal pay across all workplaces, including the soccer field. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense bill to ensure a level playing field for everyone, including our top-notch U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.”
“The American athletes representing our country on the worldwide stage must be compensated equally – because a gold medal is a gold medal and a World Cup is a World Cup, no matter your gender,” Senator Cantwell said. “The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team elevated this issue into the national conversation, but it impacts top athletes in every sport. Let’s start to right this wrong and get this done this Congress.”
While federal funds are not directly appropriated toward U.S. Soccer, there are a variety of ways that federal funding will likely be used by U.S. Soccer and its affiliates, including FIFA and CONCACAF, during the next World Cup in 2026, which will be hosted in part by in the United States. This would include any and all funds provided to host cities; participating local and state organizations; the U.S. Soccer Federation, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
Senators Manchin and Cantwell were joined by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
Background information on the GOALS Act can be found here.

Bill text can be found here