The US Women have eased back on the gas pedal in their fight for a new collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Soccer and have made some significant structural changes to their legal battle.
The USWNT coalition, led by Christen Press, released a statement that explained the change in legal staffing, detailing their reasons for releasing attorney Rich Nichols.
“We believe there is a way for both parties to win, and in doing so, create a new sense of partnership moving forward,” Press said in a statement. “We are committed to a thoughtful approach and are hopeful that USSF will work with us to create a fair future for the USWNT that emphasizes respect, equitable compensation, and partnership.”
The women replaced Nichols with legal firm Bredhoff & Kaiser, and have increased the representative group to include Press, Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Kelley O’Hara and Samantha Mewis.
With little progress since the US women filed a gender discrimination lawsuit in November and the previous CBA expired in December, the group thought it best to switch things up. Nichols had taken an attacking stance while leading the charge, but the feel is that now things will be more amicable.
“The tone is just completely different, and everyone wants to get a deal done. The players want to play. We want to have a fair CBA, so I have no doubt we’ll get a deal done,” said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati to the Associated Press.
“I think the tone is really positive at this point,” Rapinoe told the AP. “I think that we’re excited to collaborate with U.S. Soccer and hopefully get the best deal, not only for us but for them as well in this partnership going forward. I think we’re still very committed to the mission and the goals that we’ve had from the beginning for this CBA, and that’s to get a deal that fairly reflects the work we do on and off the field and our value on the market.”