LUNA Sets the Bar
On Equal Pay Day (April 2nd), LUNA Bar made a huge statement in support of women athletes when they announced they would be closing the roster bonus gap between the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) and the men’s team. The company will be paying each of the players on the World Cup roster an additional $31,250. This will occur within a partnership between the brand and the team’s player’s association, so that the funds will go directly to the players.
LUNA made sure to clarify that it wasn’t just about the “bravery and determination” of the team members, but that they, and all women, deserve to be payed equally. While the USWNT is currently involved in a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on the grounds of discrimination in pay and development, LUNA, inspired by the team’s advocacy and resiliency decided the time to end the gap is now.
While LUNA’s contributions are certainly a step in the right direction and clearly shows market interest in the women’s team, there is still a long way to go before the team achieves equality. As Megan Rapinoe stated in a clip about LUNA’s contributions, there is the need to look at the issues of compensation for the team from a big picture point of view. Paying the players is one of the foremost issues, but when the conversation turns to funding in general there is a lot more to consider. What about youth development? Staffing? Sponsorship, promotion, and advertising? Rapinoe doesn’t believe that these facets of the team are equal either, and that their lawsuit against the federation aims to address these disparities as well.
Alongside compensation and development for their own team, the members of the USWNT are hoping that their struggle and advocacy for equality will inspire women to believe in their worth and limitless potential. They are hoping for larger structural change too, with Alex Morgan voicing her hope that FIFA includes more women within the governing body to proactively address these issues of disparity in the future.
While there is still some time before we will get to see many of these issues play out in the court, the USWNT, with the help of LUNA Bar has made huge strides by closing the bonus gap and proving that a “woman’s goal is worth as much as a man’s.”