July 23 (UPI) – Megan Rapinoe and 27 other current and former players of the US women’s national team appealed their ongoing gender pay discrimination lawsuit against the US Football Association on Friday, a player spokeswoman said.

“We believe in our case and know our worth,” Rapinoe said in a press release. “It’s about time that [federation] does it too. ”

The appeal is in response to Federal Judge R. Gary Klausner’s rejection of the players’ claims for unequal pay compared to players on the US men’s national team.

Klausner issued a partial summary judgment in May 2020 in the US District Court for the Central District of California in Pasadena, dismissing most of the players’ claims.

On Friday, the players filed their opening letter with the Ninth District Court of Appeals in an attempt to reverse Klausner’s decision.

“If a woman has to work more than a man and be much more successful than him to get roughly the same wage, it is definitely not equal pay and is against the law,” said spokeswoman Molly Levinson.

“Yet that is exactly what the US national team players do – they play more games and get better results for about the same amount per game as the men’s national team players.

“This is by no means equal pay and it violates federal laws. Today we filed our lawsuit in the Ninth District Court of Appeals and we are confident the facts show intentional – and ongoing – gender-based discrimination by US football. “Federation. We look forward to bringing our case to court. “

The briefing of the players asks the ninth district to send the case back to the district level for them to go to court, which would allow a jury to decide whether the association will grant players equal pay.

The association issued a statement on Friday saying it was “committed to equal pay and that ours [women’s team] remains the best in the world. ”

“In the decision in favor of [the federation] Regarding the players’ claims for discrimination against wages, the district court rightly pointed out that the [women’s team] negotiated for a different pay structure than that [men’s team] and correctly assumed that the [women’s team] was paid more than that both cumulatively and on average per game [men’s team]”Said the association.

“[The federation] is a non-profit organization with the mission to develop the game for every player, regardless of age, gender or skill level. The focus today is on supporting the [women’s team] in their quest to win a fifth Olympic gold medal.

“Going forward, we will continue to seek an out-of-court resolution on this matter so that we can find a positive path with the players to develop the game both here at home and around the world.”

The players filed their first lawsuit on March 8, 2019, which achieved class-action status. They cited years of “ongoing institutional gender discrimination” affecting their pay and working conditions.

In December, the players and the association came to an agreement, which guaranteed that the association would provide equal working conditions for the men’s and women’s teams. This settlement was approved by the district court in April.

“As described in the short version, [the federation] continues to rely on flawed and sexist logic to justify its ongoing wage discrimination against workers [players] – although the women made more sales and more TV viewers than the men, “said the players.

“[The federation] pays players not only to play but also to win, and offers both women’s and men’s teams performance bonuses for success on the field. But the district court said it was okay to let the women do better than the men in order to get roughly the same pay per game.

“In other words, the district court has punished the players on the US women’s national team for their success.”

The US women’s national team lost their first game of the postponed 2020 summer games against Sweden in Tokyo on Wednesday. The setback resulted in a 44-game unbeaten streak. The women’s team will face New Zealand in another Group G game on Saturday in Saitama, Japan.

The men’s team failed to qualify for the 2020 Summer Games, which will last until August 8th.

“We are working to ensure that the next generation of female soccer players have the opportunity to play for an association that truly values ​​their contributions and achievements and that treats them equally – no less than – their male colleagues,” said Christen Press, a current player of the women’s team in Tokyo.

“Anyone who knows this team knows that we won’t give up until we win. You can expect that from us on the pitch – and that is what you can expect from us in our fight for equal pay. “

France goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni cannot stop a goal from Mexico striker Uriel Antuna (not seen) in a men’s group A football match during the Tokyo Summer Olympics on July 22nd. Photo by Bob Strong / UPI | License photo

Mexico striker Uriel Antuna (R) celebrates with teammates after his goal against France. Photo by Bob Strong / UPI | License photo

US gymnast Simone Biles descends on the balance beam during a training session at the Ariake Gymnastics Center on July 22 before the start of the games. Photo by Richard Ellis / UPI | License photo

The US women’s gymnastics team poses for a group photo after training. Photo by Richard Ellis / UPI | License photo

The US gymnast Sunisa Lee practices her routine. Photo by Richard Ellis / UPI | License photo

Biles observes a teammate during training. Photo by Richard Ellis / UPI | License photo

The US soccer player Lindsey Horan (front) fights for the ball with Sweden’s striker Fridolina Rolfo in a women’s group G game in Tokyo on July 21st. Sweden defeated the USA 3-0. Photo by Bob Strong / UPI | License photo

Sweden’s defender Hanna Glas (L) and US striker Megan Rapinoe jump for a headshot in an empty stadium. Photo by Richard Ellis / UPI | License photo