The maker of LUNA Bar brand nutrition bars has pledged to pay $31,250 to each of the players who make the U.S. roster for the Women’s World Cup, an amount the company says makes up the difference between bonuses for the men’s and women’s national teams.
California-based Clif Bar & Company announced the planned payments Tuesday on Equal Pay Day, which highlights the gender wage gap.
The U.S. women’s national team filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in federal court last month alleging gender discrimination.
The players have said in court documents that U.S. men’s team players earned a $55,000 bonus apiece for making the World Cup roster in 2014, while the women earned a $15,000 bonus each for making the 2015 World Cup roster.
“It’s ironic that one of the most popular sports in the world is still experiencing pay inequalities between women and men,” Clif Bar & Company co-owner Kit Crawford said in a statement. “We are big fans of the U.S. Women’s national team and were inspired to take action and make a difference that matters.”
The company characterized the payments, which total $718,750, as a donation, made in partnership with the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association.
The USSF has said that the differences in pay are the result of different collective bargaining agreements that set different pay structures for the two teams. The agreements are not made public.