U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Oregon Democrats, joined the call for U.S. Soccer to fix the gender pay gap for women players on that national team.
Members of the U.S. Women's National Team filed suit this month over the significantly lower compensation—and 33 senators including Merkley and Wyden in a March 28 letter to U.S. Soccer say the women play "deserve to paid at least as much as their male counterparts."
Among those suing are four Portland Thorns players—Adrianna Franch, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan and Emily Sonnett—who are also on the U.S. Women's National Team.
"The U.S. Men's National Team received nearly $5.4 million in total performance bonuses after losing in the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup, while the U.S. Women's National Team received less than a third of that amount for winning the World Cup the following year," the senators' letter states. "This type of pay disparity is difficult to justify, and in stark contrast to what the U.S. Senate unanimously urged in 2016."