U.S. women’s national team star, Megan Rapinoe has hit out at the U.S. Soccer federation, accusing the federation of fighting against the team’s pursuit of equality during remarks made before a congressional committee on Wednesday, March 24.
The footballer, a two-time World Cup winner, has been at the forefront of her team’s gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer and on Wednesday appeared before the House Oversight Committee for a hearing designed “to examine the economic harm caused by longstanding gender inequalities, particularly for women of color,”
In Rapinoe’s prepared opening statement she said: “It’s my honor to be in front of you today. It’s probably no surprise, but equal pay and equality in general is a deep and personal passion of mine.
“What we’ve learned and what we continue to learn is that there is no level of status, accomplishments, or power that will protect you from the clutches of inequity. One cannot simply outperform inequality or be excellent enough to escape discrimination of any kind.
“I am here today because I know firsthand that this is true. We are so often 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 Women’s National Team has won four World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals on behalf of this great country. We have filled stadiums, broken viewing records, we’ve sold out jerseys, all the popular metrics by which we are judged.
“Yet despite all of this, we are still paid less than our male counterparts – for each trophy, of which there are many, for each win, each tie, each time we play. Less.
“In fact, instead of lobbying with the women’s team in our efforts for equal pay and equality in general, the U.S. Soccer Federation has continually lobbied against our efforts and the efforts of millions of people marginalized by gender in the United States.
“And if that can happen to us, to me, with the brightest lights shining on us at all times – it can, and it does, happen to every person who is marginalized by gender. But we don’t have to wait. We don’t have to continue to be patient for decades on end. We can change that today, we can change that right now. We just have to want to.”
“So as always, LFG. Thank you.”
She fielded questions from members of the U.S. House of Representatives, addressing issues related to equal pay and transgender rights.
Last year the US Womens team sued US Soccer Federation over it’s unequal pay compared to the Men’s team and unfair working conditions.
In December, the USWNT and U.S. Soccer reached a settlement over one portion of the team’s lawsuit, involving unequal working conditions.
As part of the settlement, U.S. Soccer agreed to revise policies over charter flights, venue selection, professional support, and hotel accommodations.