The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has been fighting for equal pay now for more than five years. In that time, they've won two World Cup titles and become household names, something that the U.S. Men's National team can't say about itself. But in a new report from The New York Times, the fight just hit a major obstacle. R. Gary Klausner, the judge in the case, sided with the United States Soccer Federation, saying in a motion for summary judgment that the women were not "systematically underpaid" in comparison to the men.
Though the claims of underpayment were dismissed, Klausner did not completely throw out the entire case. "Claims about unequal treatment in housing, travel, and other areas" will go to trial, the Times adds. The case is set to start on June 16.
Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for the USWNT, noted that the team would appeal Klausner's decision.
"We are shocked and disappointed with today’s decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay," Levinson 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."
Her statement continued, saying that she recognized the challenges that the team would face moving forward and that it wouldn't stop them from pursuing equal pay.
"We have learned that there are tremendous obstacles to change," she finished. "We know that it takes bravery and courage and perseverance to stand up to them. We will appeal and press on."
Many of the biggest names from the team, including Christen Press, Tobin Heath, and Megan Rapinoe, reacted to the decision, supporting Levinson's comments and saying that they would continue to fight for what they believe in.
We will never stop fighting for EQUALITY.
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) May 2, 2020
We will continue on in the fight for equal pay. https://t.co/GmI16NssIh
— Christen Press (@ChristenPress) May 1, 2020