Megan Rapinoe, U.S. women's national team captain, defending World Cup champion and equal rights activist is asking others to join in her fight for equality in soccer. After winning the Women's Ballon d'Or award, she asked stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ivrahimovic to join in the ongoing fight. 

Rapinoe said (via ESPN):

"I want to shout: 'Cristiano, Lionel, Zlatan, help me!' These big stars do not engage in anything when there are so many problems in men's football. Do they fear losing everything? They believe that, but it is not true. Who will erase Messi or Ronaldo from world football history for a statement against racism or sexism?"

Rapinoe and her women's national team have been actively fighting for equal pay, treatment and marketing for women in sports. They have received support from many, though their work is far from over.

Throughout their journey, they have implored others to stand up for equality as well in regards to both sexism and racism, not just in soccer, but in many workplaces.

She believes she was recognized not just for her on-field achievements, but because of what she does off the field as well. 

"This Ballon d'Or rewards both," she said. "On the one hand, I am a good player. On the other, my activity away from the pitch brings me support as people understand I am acting to find solutions to our society's problems. The idea is to empower others to speak louder."

The champion continued saying she feels grateful to have the platform that is available to her, but admits that does not mean it is easy. 

"I am lucky to have a bit of talent to lead these fights. I have no fear, so I say what I say," she said. Traveling all over for conferences and meetings exhausts me, but you have to be on the front line to improve things in our world."

The latest update on the case is that the U.S. women's soccer team was granted a class status in their equal pay lawsuit. The judge in the case dismissed U.S. Soccer's statement that there could not be discrimination under federal law because some of the women earned more pay than the highest-paid men's players over the period of time discussed.