The U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Soccer Federation were supposed to see each other in court next month, but their legal showdown will have to wait thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The trial for the USWNT’s gender discrimination lawsuit was supposed to begin on May 5, but the COVID-19 outbreak is pushing their date back to June 16.
The pretrial conference, originally scheduled for April 20, is also delayed until June 1.
The suit was filed in the Central District of California, and the entire state is under a stay at home order.
The USWNT filed suit last year alleging that U.S. Soccer is in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They claim they are not paid equally to the U.S. Men’s National Team and are seeing equal wages as well as $66 million in damages.
U.S. Soccer’s defense has gone through a couple changes in recent months. A letter published at the end of February claimed the women face less competition and that playing on the women’s team requires less skill than their male counterparts. That claim faces massive backlash from players, fans, and sponsors and ultimately led to the Carlos Cordeiro resigning from his position as president of U.S. Soccer and new legal counsel assuming control of the federation’s case.
Their new filing states that U.S. Soccer “is no longer relying on the specific argument that the work of WNT players does not require ‘equal skill, effort and responsibility’ to that of MNT players.”
“The parties have significantly narrowed the issues to be tried by way of discovery and briefing,” the USWNT response to the new filing read. “USSF no longer disputes that the jobs of the WNT and MNT players require equal skill, effort and responsibility — and therefore have necessarily conceded that they perform equal work.”
District Judge R. Gary Klausner still needs to rule on the federation’s motion for summary judgment or the players’ motion for partial judgment, and he must do so before a trial can begin.