WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today reintroduced their bipartisan legislation to ensure equal pay for Americans who represent our country in global athletic competitions, like the Olympics, regardless of gender. Today, men and women can be paid differently for representing Team USA in the same sport.

“When American athletes compete on the world stage, they represent our great nation, our people, and our values,” Senator Capito said. “It is only right that the women competing for the United States in global athletic competitions receive the same kind of pay and benefits as their male counterparts. This is an issue we can address together, not as Democrats and Republicans, but as Americans, and I’m proud to join Senator Cantwell in introducing this legislation.”

“All Americans are proud to see U.S. athletes represent our country on the world stage, and all Americans should be assured these athletes are being compensated equally,” Senator Cantwell said. “Anything short of that sends exactly the wrong message across the world and here at home about the American commitment to equality and fairness. It is long past time for us to work together to right this wrong and get this done.”

“After 27 years coaching amateur athletes in college, I have seen firsthand the inequalities in our current system. The women I have coached work just as, if not harder than their counterparts. They deserve equal compensation for that. I applaud West Virginia’s own Senator Capito and Chair Cantwell for introducing this monumental legislation,” West Virginia University Women’s Soccer head coach Nikki-Izzo Brown said.

The Equal Pay for Team USA Act of 2021 would require all athletes representing the United States in global athletic competitions receive equal compensation, benefits, medical care, travel, and reimbursement of expenses, regardless of gender. 

The bill applies to 50 different sports’ national governing bodies, and it requires the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to conduct oversight and report on compliance with the legislation.  

Organizations supporting the Equal Pay for Team USA Act include:

  • Alliance of Social Workers in Sports
  • American Volleyball Coaches Association
  • Athlete Ally
  • Center for Sport, Peace & Society – University of Tennessee
  • Champion Women
  • Equality League
  • Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media
  • National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
  • National Organization for Women
  • National Women’s Law Center
  • Sports Fans Coalition
  • The Female Quotient
  • The Tucker Center – University of Minnesota
  • Trajectory Women
  • UltraViolet
  • UN Women
  • US Squash
  • USA Curling
  • USA Volleyball
  • USA Water Ski & Wake Sports
  • West Virginia University Women’s Soccer Team
  • Women Win
  • Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association
  • Women’s Sports Foundation
  • Wrestle Like a Girl

The full text of the Equal Pay for Team USA Act can be found here.

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