A federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday dismissed demands by the United States women’s soccer team for pay equal to that of men’s.
Molly Levinson, spokeswoman for the defending World Cup champions, said the plaintiffs would appeal.
“We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay,” she 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 will appeal and press on.”
The suit pitted the players against the U.S. Soccer Federation. Members of the women’s national team had sought more than $66 million in damages as part of their gender discrimination suit.
U.S. Soccer has previously said that the women are paid differently because “they specifically asked for and negotiated a completely different contract than the men’s national team, despite being offered, and rejecting, a similar pay-to-play agreement during the past negotiations.”
Judge R. Gary Klausner said, in part, that women “opted for” pay that weighed fixed income more than performance bonuses, which complicated comparisons to how men were paid.
He awarded summary judgment in part to the federation. He said the women’s suit could continue only if it focused on unequal travel, accommodations and personnel support.