'Concerning level of dishonesty' - U.S. Soccer hits back at USWNT claims in 'LFG' documentary

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U.S. Soccer has hit out at the "concerning level of dishonesty" in the team's equal pay arguments in the new documentary "LFG."

The new movie features an "inside account of the U.S. women’s national team’s ongoing fight for equal pay as told by Megan Rapinoe, Jessica McDonald, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, Sam Mewis and others," according to a press release.

But the federation has taken issue with several claims in the film, specifically those made by USWNT lawyer Jeffrey Kessler.

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What was said?

U.S. Soccer laid out their argument in a 17-tweet thread on Twitter, saying: "In the new movie 'LFG', there is a concerning level of dishonesty about U.S. Soccer and the USWNT’s compensation that we feel must be addressed.

"Specifically, lawyer Jeffrey Kessler presents a misleading and inaccurate account of the facts."

U.S. Soccer went on to list several issues it had with the USWNT and Kessler's assertions.

"Kessler claims that 'merely for showing up and playing a game, the men get more per game than the women.' The facts: The men’s and women’s teams are represented by different unions and knowingly requested and agreed to different compensation models," read one tweet from the federation.

U.S. Soccer later added: "Kessler also alleges differences in hotel accommodations for the USWNT and USMNT, joking the USWNT stays at Motel 6. The facts: The USWNT consistently stays at some of the finest hotel properties in the world and has for 20 years.

"Our USWNT and USMNT are among the highest paid in the world, with the USWNT making more than almost every men’s national team globally. We’re confident that working together we can reach an agreement that benefits everyone moving forward.

"We remain committed to building on the success of our teams and continuing to grow soccer here in the U.S. at every level of the game."

What is the status of the USWNT lawsuit?

In May 2020, Judge Gary Klausner ruled that the USWNT could not prove that U.S. Soccer financially discriminated against them due to their gender.

This spring U.S. Soccer and the USWNT came to a settlement over working conditions, including flights, venue selection, support staff and hotel accommodations.

The USWNT have now filed an appeal over Klausner's ruling against their gender discrimination claims. 

The appeal process is expected to be a lengthy one, and could last into 2022 or even 2023. U.S. Soccer has said it is willing to meet with the players to discuss an out-of-court settlement.

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