The soccer star has long been an advocate for equal pay. She spent Equal Pay Day testifying in support of wage reforms.
On Equal Pay Day, soccer star Megan Rapinoe attended a hearing on the issue of equal pay, where she shared testimony of her own experiences. The soccer player has been an eminent personality in the fight for equal pay, asserting on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee that women should no longer have to "continue to be patient" on the topic. Equal Pay Day takes place every year on the day that women have to work into 2021 to make what white, non-Hispanic men earned on average in 2020 alone. As per the National Women's Law Center, women working full time, year-round are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men on average, Good Morning America reports.
"If it can happen to us and it can happen to me with the brightest lights shining on us at all times, it can and it does happen to every person who is marginalized by gender," Rapinoe affirmed. "But we don’t have to wait. We don’t have to continue to be patient for decades on end. We can change that today. We can change that right now. We just have to want to. So, as always, LFG." "LFG" is an acronym popularized by athletes. It stands for "Let's F*cking Go," which is also the title of an upcoming documentary that "gives a no-holds-barred, inside account of the United States women’s national team’s ongoing fight for equal pay as told by Rapinoe" and others, Deadline reports.
Rapinoe also discussed the proposals Democrats have put forward as a means to close the gender pay gap. "What we’ve learned and what we continue to learn is there’s no level of status, and there is no accomplishment or power, that will protect you from the clutches of inequality," she stated in her testimony. "One cannot simply outperform inequality or be excellent enough to escape discrimination of any kind. I'm here today because I know firsthand that this is true."
This is only one way in which the soccer star has advocated for equal pay. In the past, she used the women's national team win at the World Cup to raise awareness about the oft-overlooked issue. More precisely, she pointed out the inequitable distribution of prize money and resources between the men's and women's tournaments and national teams. During the hearing, Rapinoe also made mention of the difficult journey of filing a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation over claims of unequal working conditions (the women's national team is currently appealing a decision on wage discriminations under the Equal Pay Act).
"Time and time again, we were told simply, no, the only thing that was going to be available was less and far less, to be honest," she said. "This was the next best step that we could take, frankly. I think throughout the process, we’ve realized that, yes, we’re fighting for ourselves, and yes, we have our outstanding lawsuit with the US Federation, but we’re with everyone. We’re with so many women across the country. We are with so many women who aren’t able to be in this committee hearing, who aren’t able to get the ear of the media, who do not have the bright lights and the cameras on them all the time. We are looking to carry this torch for so many other women."