Megan Rapinoe: ‘It’s time for action’ on equal pay for women’s soccer players

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U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe said Tuesday that “it’s time for action” to secure equal play for female soccer players after the U.S. women’s national team’s victory in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final.

The team appeared on “Good Morning America” after returning to the U.S. from their 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in Sunday’s final in Lyon, France.

Rapinoe, the team’s co-captain, called for action after their back-to-back wins in the FIFA tournament sparked an international conversation about the pay gap between men and women.{mosads}

“What can we do now?” Rapinoe asked. “How can FIFA support the federations? How can federations support their players better? How can the leagues support their players better?”

“For all the fans and people — good morning America, everybody — go watch your team,” she continued with a laugh. “Watch the national team. Watch your local club teams. I think that there’s a part in this for everybody to do. And I think we’ve really left the old conversation behind us and now it’s time for that action.”

All 28 players of women’s team filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation on International Women’s Day in March, accusing the organization of “institutionalized gender discrimination” including inequity in pay, practice time, practice locations, medical treatment, coaching and travel. 

The team is engaged in a gender discrimination lawsuit because the organization pays male players far more than female players, despite the women’s team bringing in more revenue than the men’s team.

According to Vox, 2015 budget figures showed that the women’s team brought in a $23 million increase in revenue following its World Cup win and victory tour, more than the men’s team brought in during the same period.

Each player on the U.S. women’s national team could receive about $260,000 in maximum earnings for winning the Women’s World Cup, according to documents obtained by The Guardian, while each player on the U.S. men’s national team could have earned nearly $1 million if the club had won the World Cup. 

The U.S. men’s team has yet to play in a World Cup final and failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament.

U.S. viewership for the Women’s World Cup final was also more than 20 percent higher than the men’s World Cup final in 2018, according to Fox Sports, which aired the match. 

Fans in the bleachers of the the Stade de Lyon in France on Sunday broke out into chants of “equal pay,” following the U.S. victory.

Rapinoe, who made headlines criticizing President Trump, said Monday that “the fans said it all.”

“They’re with us wanting more. I think everybody’s ready for it, as I was alluding to it before. But it’s pretty special to have that transcendent moment outside of sport, outside of soccer, outside of anything,” Rapinoe said. “Its like this is so much bigger than just what’s happening on the field and the fans were right there along step with us.”

Trump, in an interview with The Hill last month, declined to take a position on whether women’s soccer players should receive equal pay as men.

“I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics,” Trump said. “I mean who draws more, where is the money coming in. I know that when you have the great stars like [Portugal’s Cristiano] Ronaldo and some of these stars … that get paid a lot of money, but they draw hundreds of thousands of people.”

“But I haven’t taken a position on that at all,” he added. “I’d have to look at it.”

Tags Donald Trump Equal pay FIFA Megan Rapinoe United States Soccer Federation World Cup
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