Megan Rapinoe: Talks with US Soccer must begin with equal pay

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It seems the USWNT are no closer to resolving their ongoing dispute with US Soccer, and Megan Rapinoe, co-captain of the team, is certainly not giving up the team's fight for equal pay.

In an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, Rapinoe reiterated the World Cup-winning team's stance towards their employer and that they would continue to seek equal pay with their male counterparts, who failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2018.

“They’re the only employer that we could have playing for the national team, we’re the only employees that they could have, so for better or for worse we’re tethered together.

“I think that if and when and ever they are willing to have a conversation about equal pay that starts there and goes forward, we’re always open to that," Rapinoe said during her appearance on US morning television.

The team filed a lawsuit against their governing body in March citing years of "institutionalised gender discrimination" and it seems their call for equal pay was the main factor in the breakdown of mediation talks.

"I think, unfortunately, it was just the concept of paying us equally. We never even got past that.

"We were very hopeful in our discussions with them that they were going to take our proposals and our positions seriously, which is simply that every game that we play, we get compensated the same way a man would for playing or winning that game. And it broke down right there," Rapinoe's teammate Christen Press said during the interview.

Alongside equal pay, the team are seeking "at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games; and other terms and conditions of employment."

Responding to the team's comments in light of the breakdown of discussion, the USSF retaliated with statements explaining the players' legal representatives “took an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach that follows months of presenting misleading information to the public in an effort to perpetuate confusion.”

When asked whether the team was wary of what the outcome could be if the case went to a jury trial, Press said, “I think you’re asking the wrong people what if we lose. It’s not generally how we approach things.”

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It is clear the USWNT, led by women like Rapinoe and Press, will not be letting US Soccer force them into a compromise. The question is, who will blink first?

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