Speed Reads

Equal Pay Day

Megan Rapinoe tells lawmakers 'no level of status' will 'protect you from the clutches of inequality'

Megan Rapinoe spoke out on Equal Pay Day about the "clutches of inequality" in a congressional hearing, calling it "unacceptable" that the fight to close the gender pay gap is still necessary.

The soccer star testified during a House Oversight Committee hearing for Equal Pay Day on Wednesday, telling lawmakers that "there's no level of status, and there's no accomplishment or power, that will protect you from the clutches of inequality," adding, "One cannot simply outperform inequality or be excellent enough to escape discrimination of any kind."

Rapinoe described her firsthand experience with this, telling Congress about how the United States women's national team is paid less than their male counterparts and blasting the U.S. Soccer Federation for having "continually lobbied against our efforts" to demand equal pay.

"And if it can happen to us, and it can happen to me, with the brightest lights shining on us on all times, it can — and it does — happen to every person who is marginalized by gender. ... We can change that today. We can change that right now. We just have to want to."

Rapinoe spoke further about her and her teammates' fight for equal pay, including their gender discrimination lawsuit, saying the team has been waging this fight both on behalf of themselves and on behalf of "so many women across the country" who don't have their platform.

"It's just unacceptable that we're still fighting for equal pay," she said. "There's no reason why we're underpaid for the exception of gender."

Later on Wednesday, Rapinoe and members of the women's national team are set to attend an event at the White House with President Biden. Rapinoe famously said in 2019 she wouldn't be "going to the f---ing White House" when former President Donald Trump was in office. Brendan Morrow