USA Women forward Megan Rapinoe fired back at Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, saying he should have been better educated on the issue of equal pay when he suggested female athletes should stop complaining about the issue.
Rapinoe and her fellow USA team-mates became leading figures for equal pay in the United States after getting into a public battle with their federation over wages and playing conditions in the run-up to the team’s successful World Cup bid in 2019.
She criticised the recent NCAA basketball tournament organisers for offering inferior facilities to the women’s teams and Green for saying female athletes are not leveraging their position to force companies into increasing the revenues of women’s leagues.
“I’m really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay, because they’re doing themselves a disservice by just complaining,” Green was quoted as saying by CBS last week.
“They’re not laying out steps that they can take to change that. It’s coming off as a complaint because the people that can change it are just going to continue to say, ‘Well, the revenue isn’t there. So if you don’t bring in the revenue, we can’t up your pay.’
“They’re going to keep using that, but the reality is, as true as that is, it’s an excuse.”
Responding to Green’s comments, Rapinoe told reporters at the Team USA media summit on Wednesday: “It’s really unfortunate in the position that (Green is) in, having all of the resources that he has and the ability to have a much more educated opinion, that he just hasn’t.
“(And to do it) when the tournament was going on and all that we saw with the lack of investment, with the lack of resources, with the lack of funding – that’s just really frustrating that that’s the take that you have,” she said.
The USA Women’s team begin their quest for a fifth Olympic gold medal in Tokyo this summer.
Rapinoe renewed her call for equal pay in March, appearing before a congressional panel and pledging to “carry this torch” alongside her team-mates.
The USA forward told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that the World Cup winners had exceeded the accomplishments of their male counterparts but received inadequate compensation and playing conditions, two years after she and her team-mates filed a landmark gender discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer.
“There is no level of status, accomplishments, or power that will protect you from the clutches of inequity,” Rapinoe said in her written testimony in honour of Equal Pay Day.
“The 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.”