Megan Rapinoe Takes Fight to Congress

By: Rebecca Kratz

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women working full time, year-round are on average paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. Megan Rapinoe, the captain of the US women’s soccer team, has continued her fight for equal pay for female athletes. To draw attention to this unequal distribution of prize money, she used her team’s 4th World Cup Victory in 2019. On March 24, 2021, Megan Rapinoe and fellow soccer player Margaret Purce partook in an event hosted by President Biden and the First Lady on Equal Pay Day, a commemorative celebration dedicated to raising awareness about the pay gap. Two dozen of their teammates watched remotely. Rapinoe’s argument explored the misunderstanding of why pay inequality was still a prevalent issue in US soccer; she stated “The United States women’s national team has won four World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals on behalf of our country. We have filled stadiums, broken viewing records, and sold-out jerseys, all popular metrics by which we are judged. Yet despite all of this, we are still paid less than men – for each trophy, of which there are many, each win, each tie, each time we play. Less.” However, Rapinoe and her team had been semi-successful in a gender discrimination lawsuit with U.S. Soccer as the organization settled to provide amenities including charter flights and play venues that are equal to the men’s team, but the case was dismissed by the judge last year without changing anything regarding equal pay rates. A few days after Rapinoe testified to Congress, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green tweeted: “”I’m really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay because they’re doing themselves a disservice by just complaining …They are. They’re not laying out steps that they can take to change that.” Rapinoe, who has headed the fight for equal pay responded “You don’t think that we’ve asked for more?” she told reporters at a Team USA media event. “I mean, what are we screaming about nonstop?” She expanded on her feelings about the Draymond Green comments by saying it was “frustrating” and not acceptable at all.”

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