Megan Rapinoe calls on women to 'fight like hell' in battle for equal pay

Sarah Young

Megan Rapinoe has made an impassioned plea to women all over the world, calling on them to “fight like hell” until they achieve equal pay.

The US women’s national team (USWNT) star has been using her platform to champion the fight for equality ever since she led the country to victory at the Women's Football World Cup earlier this year.

Now Rapinoe is calling on all women to “fight like hell” until they achieve equal pay.

“Don't settle for anything less, go for equal, go for more, don't accept any of these sort of antiquated and BS answers," she told the BBC.

"Until we have equal investment and over investment really, because we've been so underserved for so long, we're not gonna have any sort of meaningful conversation about compensation and revenues and TV viewership.

“I know it's frustrating and hard – at times you feel like you're banging your head against a wall – but we're sort of in it anyways,” she added.

"It's a fact of life for us so we might as well fight like hell."

In March, the USWNT filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation, accusing the governing body of “institutionalised gender discrimination” over equal pay.

All 28 members of the team filed class action lawsuits, which also allege discrimination over training facilities, coaching, medical treatment and travel conditions.

In August, it was announced that mediation talks between the team and the US Soccer Federation ended without reaching an agreement.

The players later stated that they have since turned their attention to the courts where they are “eagerly look forward to a jury trial”.

During the BBC interview, the 34-year-old, who has been dating basketball player Sue Bird since 2017, also spoke about issues facing the LGBT+ community.

Addressing those who don't feel able to be open about their sexuality, Rapinoe said: “Eventually the environment will be different where you feel like you can come out.

“We're trying to make it better and set the environment so when you are ready to come out, the environment is ready for you."

The football captain continued by discussing racism in sport – a topic she previously mentioned during her acceptance speech after being awarded Fifa Player of the Year alongside Lionel Messi in September.

“If there's ever an instance of racism, if every single player on the field is not outraged then to me they're part of the problem,” she said.

Rapinoe added that she doesn’t believe that current sanctions for racism in sport are tough enough.

“£65,000 is an absolute joke,” she said, referring of the fine given to Bulgaria for the racist abuse of England players in their recent Euro 2020 qualifier.

“For me I'm just like, make it super extreme so it's damaging to the team, to the federation, so it's damaging financially.”

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