Megan Rapinoe was without any hesitation the best player of the latest edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she led the U.S. national team to grab the back-to-back title with their victory over the Netherlands by 2-0 on Sunday.
Rapinoe, truth to her style, didn’t miss a chance to talk about important issues she and her colleagues face as professional footballers. Before the big game took place, the American winger spoke out about the issue of equal pay for men and women in this sport.
At the next World Cup in 2023, FIFA president Gianni Infantino wishes to double the prize money to $60 million, while at the men’s competition in 2022, teams in Qatar will have a pot of $440 million.
When the player went to grab her Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards for the tournament’s top scorer and best player, she didn’t lose the opportunity to remember the FIFA’s chief that some action must be taken regarding this matter.
“Everyone’s asking what’s next and what we want to come all of this – it’s to stop having the conversation about equal pay and are we worth it,” Rapinoe said, as quoted by Goal.
“What are we going to do about it? Gianni, what are we going to do about it? Carlos [Cordeiro, USFF president], what are we going to do about it? Everyone. It’s time to sit down with everyone and really get to work.
“This game has done so much for all of us, we’ve put so much into it. I think it’s a testament to the quality on the field.
“I don’t think everything else is matching that. How we do get everything to match up and push this forward because I think at this point the argument that we have been having is totally null and void.”
She added in the post-match press conference: “It’s time to move that conversation forward to the next step. A little public shame never hurt anybody, right?”
Besides Megan’s words, Infantino also heard fans on the bleachers chanting ‘equal pay’ while he was on the pitch. Rapinoe and her teammates earned a pot of $4 million for winning the tournament, while France’s men’s squad made about $38 million for triumphing in Russia last year.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) 7 de julio de 2019
Knowing the exposure that women’s football gets every day and how big it gets year after year, it won’t be too long before we see males and females have equal payments for the things they do on the pitch and voices like Megan’s are the ones who make things happen and change.