Draymond talks NBA-WNBA pay gap remarks, Megan Rapinoe's comments

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Kendra Andrews
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Draymond addresses NBA-WNBA pay gap remarks, Rapinoe's comments originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Draymond Green has made it clear: He's not afraid to voice his opinions on what he believes in. 

He laid that out explicitly Thursday after Warriors practice. 

"I am a firm believer in always staying true to what you believe," Green said. 

Because of that, he's not budging on his opinion that there need to be additional steps taken to address the pay gap between NBA players and WNBA players.

United States women's national soccer team player Megan Rapinoe hit back at Green's initial comments that women are making "complaints" rather than taking action. As did former WNBA player Candace Parker. 

But Green is standing pat. 

"I think what I've said has been extremely misconstrued," Green said. "Because I am on their side."

At first, Green was going to leave it at that, stating he wasn't going to get into trying to explain his message. A split second later, he changed his mind. 

"What I am saying here is, here's what I think can work ... So, let's try it ... We live in a day and age of everything is driven by the media, by social media. You can pull up anything in two seconds and figure out what was said, who said what, but ... the steps they could be taking behind closed doors aren't always reported. But what is always reported is such and such said they don't make enough money. Such and such said they don't make as much money as men. 

"So what my point is, let's make sure we're driving what is reported ... let's make sure we are asking for whatever it is that can help change what everyone wants to change."

In Green's mind, that's less about targeting the WNBA because the league simply generates less money than the NBA, and more about taking it to corporations such as Nike or Beats by Dre to encourage them to share more of female athletes' stories. 

This, in turn, would increase interest in women's sports and drive up revenue. 

"All of these companies (can) tell these stories in order to help drive that bottom line," Green said. "If we can help drive and move that bottom line, there is no coming back. There is no way for anyone to say, 'Well, you guys don't deserve this money because of this number.' Like, no. What can we do to help move this number to here, so that the women can capitalize on all of this growth?"

Green acknowledged Rapinoe's comments that she said it was "unfortunate in the position [Green's] in, having all of the resources that he has and the ability to have a much more educated opinion, that he just hasn't," stating that he felt it was "unfortunate that she thinks it's unfortunate that it's my view." 

He was actually encouraged that she had an opinion on his ideas.

"At the end of the day, what Megan wants and what I want is the same thing," Green said. "And if she believes doing something a certain way gets her to the end goal, I'm all for that. And if I believe doing something a certain gets to the end goal, I'm all for that. So, if we can both do something to move the needle to get to the end goal, great. I have no complaints with whatever it is she wants to do, or any woman athlete wants to do, or anyone who is trying to help drive their cause and what they want to be done. It doesn't matter to me how we get there. What matters to me is that we get there.

"I'm not going to sit here and condemn her comments back to me, or what she's done. I'm in full support of what she's doing to help get to the end goal because that's what I want to see happen and I want to help."

Green isn't surprised his comments have taken on a life of their own. He's not shocked people didn't like him tagging specific athletes in his original tweets or that his bottom line wasn't taken the way he intended. 

The tagging aspect of it he did on purpose. As far as the message, he understands it's hard to convey everything on his mind on Twitter, where he has to do it in 280 characters or less. He says he doesn't want you to understand his full position from his tweets. 

"What I want to do is raise awareness with my tweets," Green said. "I want to have these conversations to help get over here to the side of good, to the side we're all trying to get to, to the side that we want to see these women get."

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Green wants people to have different points of view on the steps that need to be taken to break down the wage gap. If everyone at the table has the same opinion, they could miss out on a major opportunity. And because of that, he "one hundred percent" wants to be able to have constructive conversations. 

"That will probably make for a better conversation," Green said. "That will probably help us sit down and move more."