Wesson Moves to Outlaw Gender Pay Inequity at Professional Sports Competitions in the City of Los Angeles

Wesson Moves to Outlaw Gender Pay Inequity at Professional Sports Competitions in the City of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has introduced a motion that would require equal compensation and prize money for any competition within the City of Los Angeles that features both men and women’s divisions and requires a City permit. The motion was co-presented by Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Monica Rodriguez and seconded by Councilmember David Ryu.

“The gender pay disparity in professional sports is not just a disservice to these female athletes – it’s a disservice to women everywhere,” said Wesson. “It’s time that we reward our athletes not on the basis of their gender but rather on their talent and ability.”

The move comes on the heels of a national conversation around equal pay for female athletes that follows the United States Women’s National Soccer Team’s historic fourth World Cup championship. In spite of the USWNT’s overwhelming and continued success, these champion athletes are compensated at a significantly lower level than their highly skilled but less successful counterparts on the men’s national team.

“It’s time to close the wage gap and correct this disparity once and for all,” said Rodriguez. “This championship is a time for momentous pride for our nation and our decorated female athletes deserve to be compensated fairly.”

The City of Los Angeles is a regular host to high-profile sporting events that require special event permits to mitigate threats to public safety and manage traffic congestion. Several organizations have already implemented similar measures for their competitions, such as the Los Angeles Marathon which splits its prize money equitably among male and female participants who earn a cash prize.

“I honestly cannot believe I have to say this but, yes!” said Martinez. “Woman athletes deserve to be paid at least as much as their male counterparts. What better example is there than the US Women’s Soccer team. They have captivated the world and continue to inspire young girls everywhere. If they don’t deserve equal pay, then I don’t know who does. It’s a no-brainer.”

On top of Wesson’s motion to require equal pay for sporting events within Los Angeles city limits, Councilmember Ryu has co-introduced with Councilmember Martinez a motion to put the City’s support behind U.S. Senate Bill 2062, which would prohibit federal funds for the 2026 World Cup Games unless the U.S. Soccer Federation provides the same level of pay to the women’s national team as it does to the men’s team.

“Seeing the U.S. Women’s National Team win their fourth World Cup championship was a moment of pride for our country,” said Ryu. “But it is a stain on U.S. Soccer that our women’s team – the best in the world – is paid less simply because of their gender. As Los Angeles is looking to host the World Cup and Olympics, we should say it loud and clear: Equal pay for equal work.”