Megan Rapinoe gives powerful speech on equal pay in front of President Biden

  • Kat Lucas

Megan Rapinoe has vowed to continue fighting for equal pay in a powerful speech in front of Congress. 

President Joe Biden invited the World Cup winner to take part in ‘Equal Pay Day’, with Rapinoe taking her fight for equality to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. 

Picking apart every “metric’ against which the USWNT national team could be judged, the 35-year-old launched her latest assault on the US Soccer Federation. 

A year on from the Federation’s apology after it was found to have discriminated against female players in a suit brought by 28 US internationals, equal pay has still not been achieved. 

The USWNT subsequently sang the national anthem ahead of kick-off with their jerseys inside out, hiding the badge. 

As Rapinoe took her fight into the political sphere, she told Congress: 

“I am here today because I know firsthand that this is true. We are told in this country that if you just work hard and continue to achieve – you will be rewarded, fairly. It’s the promise of the American dream. But that promise has not been for everyone.

“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.

“You want stadiums filled? We filled them. You want role models for your kids, for your boys, and your girls, and your little trans kids? We have that. You want us to be respectful? You want us to perform on the world stage?”

Earlier this month, Rapinoe admitted the issue is at the forefront of her mind every time she pulls on the national team’s jersey. 

Back in December, the USWNT reached an agreement with the US Soccer Federation for equal work conditions including travel, accommodation, and even the right to play on grass. 

Equal pay was not included in that deal, with a federal judge throwing out a separate case last year. 

“I’ve been devalued, I’ve been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman,” Rapinoe added. “I’ve been told that I don’t deserve any more than less because I am a woman. Despite all the wins, I’m still paid less than men who do the same job that I do.”

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