On Wednesday, United States women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe said that the world doesn't know the "real potential of women's sports," as a result of inequalities that include pay. Rapinoe testified via video before the House Oversight Committee for Equal Pay Day in Washington D.C.
"With the lack of proper investment, we don't know the real potential of women's sports," Rapinoe said. "What we know is how successful women's sports have been in the face of discrimination, in the face of a lack of investment in every level in comparison to men."
In addition, Rapinoe and several of her USWNT members will meet with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on Equal Pay Day. Rapinoe won back-to-back World Cups for the United States in 2015 and 2019 and also too home a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
"The United States women's national team has won four World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals on behalf of our country. We have filled stadiums, broken viewing records, and sold out jerseys, all popular metrics by which we are judged.
"Yet despite all of this, we are still paid less than men – for each trophy, of which there are many, each win, each tie, each time we play. Less."
Rapinoe is urging lawmakers to push for equal pay for female athletes.
"One cannot simply outperform inequality of any kind. I am here today because I know firsthand that this is true," Rapinoe said.
Rapinoe also touched on about was the backlash over unequal workout facilities and food availability between the NCAA men's and women's college basketball tournaments. The uproar came after photos of the disparities were shared on social media. In addition, women received different "swag bags" upon their arrival for their tournament in San Antonio that were significantly smaller than what the men's tournament players received in Indianapolis.
Rapinoe also called out NCAA President Mark Emmert by saying that he "and the executives at the NCAA, you just simply have to do better."
"For an organization like the NCAA, similar to the U.S. Soccer Federation, that's a nonprofit, it's just absolutely unacceptable," Rapinoe added. "To say that you value your student-athletes and to have your women's players show up for one rack of dumbbells is just completely unacceptable."