Megan Rapinoe called for the conversation on equal pay to move forward after she helped the USA to retain the World Cup
Megan Rapinoe called for the conversation on equal pay to move forward after she helped USA to retain the World Cup.
I think everyone is ready for this conversation to move to the next step, she said after hearing an equal pay chant ring round after the final and the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, being booed. I think were done with: Are we worth it, should we have equal pay, is the market the same? Yada yada.
Everyones done with that; fans are done with that, players are done with that. In a lot of ways I think sponsors are done with that. Lets get to the next point. Whats next? How do we support womens federations and womens programmes around the world? What can Fifa do to do that? What can we do to support the leagues around the world? she said, having rocked into the press conference late, exclaiming I just killed doping!
We as players, every player at this World Cup, put on the most incredible show that you could ever ask for. We cannot do anything more to impress more, to be better ambassadors, to take on more, to play better or do anything. Its time to take it forward to the next step. A little public shame never hurt anybody, right? Im down with the boos.
The USA manager, Jill Ellis, paid tribute to her Golden Boot and Golden Ball winger and defended her outspoken ways. Megan was built for this, built for these moments, built to be a spokesperson, Ellis said. Shes eloquent. She speaks well and from the heart. I never had any worries about Megan speaking out. The bigger the spotlight the more she shines.
Ellis praised the growth of the game after USA overcame tough tests against France, Spain and England on their way to the final. I think the level overall around the world is growing exponentially, she said. This was incredibly difficult. I think the teams weve had to come through were very difficult.
There were rumblings of discontent within the camp, and with Ellis, after a disappointing exit to Sweden in the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympics. Ellis, though, brushed off a potential I told you so moment. I dont care, she said. I never read what people thought. I knew after 2016 we had to deconstruct and reconstruct. We just had to continue to evolve. Deepening our squad, giving more people opportunities, vetting people. I dont have to talk about critics I dont care. People out here know a tenth of what we do. Im very proud of these players.
On her now signature arms-outstretched celebration Rapinoe said: Im generally pretty off the cuff, so I change them up a lot. This just seemed right in the moment to have me and what I stand for with a big shit-eating grin on my face. For all the women players whove played in this its iconic of what we go through but we still put this product out on the pitch. It seemed to be working in the moment.
Ellis was asked whether they would be invited to the White House. I wouldnt bet on that, she replied with a grin.
Trump tweeted: Congratulations to the US Womens Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!
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