Megan Rapinoe holds conference with two Washington senators to discuss equal pay

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/olympics/rio-2016/a/1124356/" data-ylk="slk:Megan Rapinoe">Megan Rapinoe</a> sat with Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell before Reign FC's game against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday to talk about closing the gender pay gap in the United States. (Ira L. Black/Getty Images)
Megan Rapinoe sat with Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell before Reign FC's game against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday to talk about closing the gender pay gap in the United States. (Ira L. Black/Getty Images)

Megan Rapinoe’s fight for equal pay isn’t over with the World Cup in the rear-view window.

She made that abundantly clear on Sunday afternoon.

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The United State’s Women’s National Team star sat down with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on Sunday afternoon in Tacoma, Washington, ahead of Reign FC’s game against the Chicago Red Stars, advocating for equal pay not just in women’s sports, but in the country as a whole.

“I’m very thankful to be in the position to sit next to you guys, the people who are actually making change,” Rapinoe said. “This is part of what it means to everybody take their own personal responsibility and to do what they can in whatever lane they can be most productive and most successful and most impactful in.”

Rapinoe and the rest of the USWNT has been extremely vocal about fighting for equal pay both during and after the World Cup this summer. Following their win in France, a massive “equal pay” chant even broke out at their celebration rally in New York.

Rapinoe and the entire team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation in March, too, arguing not only for equal pay but that the gender discrimination has impacted where they play games, how they travel, their training, medical treatment and their coaching.

The group on Sunday talked about needing to pass a federal law to help close the gender pay gap in the United States and about the Paycheck Fairness Act — a bill proposed and sponsored by Murray and Cantwell that would help close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in March, however has not made it through the Senate.

“The effects of equal pay is not just on the woman’s wallet,” Rapinoe said. “It’s on her children’s wallet, it’s on her community’s wallet. It’s sort of on the whole world. It affects men too, I think a lot of guys don’t realize that. Every time a woman is not paid equally, everyone is not and nobody’s potential is able to be reached.”

Cantwell also announced on social media that she has introduced a bipartisan plan that would help “ensure equal play for Americans who represent our country in global athletic competitions.”

Rapinoe did not play in the Reign’s 4-0 loss to the Red Stars on Sunday — the team’s first game back from the World Cup — while recovering from an Achilles injury.

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