U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe appeared at the White House on Wednesday to speak out against alleged pay discrimination between women and men.
Rapinoe gave a speech from the White House on Wednesday complaining of her unequal treatment as compared to men, suggesting that she should be paid the same as male soccer players for doing “the same job.”
Rapinoe is reportedly worth over $3 million.
“I’m a member of the LGBTQ community with pink hair, and where I come from, I could have only dreamed of standing in the position I am today at the White House. I’m also a professional athlete, and I’ve helped – along with all of my teammates virtually here today, one teammate literally here today – win four World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals for the United States,” Rapinoe said.
“Despite those wins, I’ve been devalued, I’ve been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman. I’ve been told that I don’t deserve any more than less because I am a woman. You see, despite all the wins, I’m still paid less than men who do the same job that I do,” she continued. “For each trophy – of which there are many – and for each win, for each tie, and for each time that we play, it’s less.”
“I know there are millions of people who are marginalized by gender in the world and experience the same thing in their jobs,” Rapinoe said. “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. We on the U.S. Women’s National Team are here because of them.”
Megan Rapinoe: "I've been devalued, I've been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman. 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." https://t.co/canJYaCV9s pic.twitter.com/yFycaMbVXn
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 24, 2021
In March 2019, the U.S. Women’s National Team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer over alleged gender pay discrimination. In May 2020, a judge dismissed a major part of the lawsuit in which the plaintiffs wanted to restructure their collective bargaining agreement to be like the men’s team’s. The judge threw out the request noting that the women’s team had rejected such an agreement in earlier negotiations with U.S. Soccer.
“The WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players,” U.S. District Judge R Gary Klausner wrote. “Accordingly, plaintiffs cannot now retroactively deem their CBA (collective bargaining agreement) worse than the MNT (men’s national team) CBA by reference to what they would have made had they been paid under the MNT’s pay-to-play terms structure when they themselves rejected such a structure.”
The pay disparity between the women’s and men’s teams may also not be as great as Rapinoe suggests. In answer to some of the claims in the lawsuit, U.S. Soccer released a fact sheet in July breaking down some of the differences in the teams’ compensation. As The Daily Wire reported:
The women’s team sued … claiming they were denied equal pay by the USSF. The USSF later released a “fact sheet” explaining that the women’s team lost the federation millions of dollars and yet they still out-earned their male counterparts. The women’s team, while claiming unequal treatment, collectively bargained for their pay structure, just like the men’s team. The women receive a base salary of $100,000 each year and an additional salary of $67,500 to $72,500 for playing in the National Women’s Soccer League. The men’s team does not have this agreement, they only receive bonuses. The women’s team also receives bonuses at a higher percentage of what the men’s team earns, yet because women’s soccer brings in less money, they receive less in bonuses. The women’s team also has benefits like a retirement plan and health insurance. The men’s team does not receive any benefits.