Story at a glance

  • In an interview with BBC, Megan Rapinoe discussed gender parity in soccer (or football, as they call it).
  • Rapinoe had some especially choice words for English football club Manchester United.
  • The football club reintroduced a women's football team in 2018, joining a handful of other major clubs in the country.

As the captain of a World Cup-winning national team, Megan Rapinoe doesn’t have much patience for participation awards. 

"It's 2020. How long has the Premier League been around? And we're only just seeing a club like Manchester United put effort and pounds towards a women's team? Frankly, it's disgraceful,” she told BBC in a recent interview. 

Manchester United Football Club, one of the highest earning football clubs in the world, reintroduced a women's football team in 2018 as part of the Football Association women's super league in England. The league itself is relatively young, established in 2011, and last year signed a multimillion sponsorship deal with British bank Barclay. 


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"I think women's football in England is the same as in America - it is so far behind because of what we've had to overcome in the lack of investment,” Rapinoe told BBC. 

In the United States, Rapinoe has been vocal about the inequality between men’s and women’s professional soccer and an advocate for gender parity. The first white athlete to join Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest against racism, she is an advocate for equality across gender, race and sexuality.  


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"Men are so often paid and compensated on the potential that they show, not necessarily what they've done," Rapinoe told NPR in an interview about her new memoir, “One Life.” "And women are so often paid on what they've actually done — which normally I would say, we outperform what our contract was."  

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Women's National Team against the U.S. Soccer Federation in May, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to establish pay discrimination. NPR reported that the team plans to file an appeal and Rapinoe doubled down on her stance. 

"The amount of money that [the women's team players] could possibly earn in our contract — compared to the amount of money that the men could possibly earn in the contract — is very different," Rapinoe told NPR. "We've been very successful ... and to get paid about the same dollar-for-dollar amount [as the men] — that's sort of at the heart of pay inequity and gender discrimination."


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Published on Nov 10, 2020