You may remember it: the time that Megan Rapinoe led the US Women's National Soccer Team in refusing to make a White House visit. Back then it was 2019 and the team was preparing for the FIFA Women's World Cup in France. At that point, according to Business Insider 10 of 20 champion teams that normally would have gone to the White House had not done so, and Rapinoe made it clear that she would join that number saying that she was "not going to the f-cking White House" in a video clip that went massively viral. But with Trump out of office, she's now made it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
"I'm a member of the LGBTQ community, with pink hair, and where I come from I could only ever dream that I could be standing in the position that I am today I'm also a professional athlete. I've helped, along with my teammates ... here today, win four World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals for the United States," Rapinoe said at a press conference for Equal Pay Day while at the White House. "And despite those wins, I've been devalued, I've been disrespected, and dismissed because I am a woman."
"And I've been told that I don't deserve any more than less because I am a woman," she said.
Pay inequality has been something Rapinoe has been vocal about for years. She and her teammates sued the US Soccer Federation in 2019 on the basis of gender discrimination. That suit was settled in part in December 2020 but as the judge dismissed the allegations of unequal pay, the players plan to appeal.
"You see despite all the wins," Rapinoe continued. "I'm still paid less than men that do the same job that I do. For each trophy, of which are many, and for each win, for each tie, and for each time that we play it's less. And I know there are millions of people who are marginalized by gender in the world and experience the same thing in their jobs. And I know there are people who experience even more where the layers of discrimination continue to stack against them and I and my teammates are here for them."