US Women’s football team icon Megan Rapinoe’s speech at the White House has caused a predictable stir – and not everyone has been swayed by the veteran’s appearance after she accepted an invitation from new president Joe Biden.
Having previously emphatically shunned a potential invite from former president Donald Trump, Rapinoe addressed the White House after testifying to a congressional committee about the economic impact of long-held gender inequalities.
With the vast majority of her international teammates joining her virtually, Rapinoe also stood over Biden as he signed a proclamation to mark equal pay day, which is designed to symbolize how far into the year women must work on average to make up the gender pay disparity over the course of a year.
“Megan Rapinoe and the USA Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup in 2019 and avoided [Trump] like he was a serial abuser,” said one supportive author.
“Today they joined President Biden at the White House on equal pay day because they trust this guy to get this done. Goal.”
Others saluted the 35-year-old’s power poses and admired her for ensuring that a smiling Biden signed papers while sitting at a desk – but some critics were unconvinced.
“Megan Rapinoe’s job isn’t playing soccer,” argued one hugely-followed political commentator.
“It’s generating revenue. She generates revenue by playing soccer. She doesn’t generate nearly as much as the men, therefore she isn’t doing the same job.
“Also, men and women are different and she’s not good enough to play on a men’s team.”
An investigative reported claimed: “Rapinoe has earned an estimated $ 3 to $ 3.5 million kicking soccer balls for a living and her fiance, Sue Bird, has raked in $ 5 to $ 8 million playing basketball.
“All for playing childrens games for a living. And the plebs are supposed to feel bad for the poor ‘undervalued’ multimillionaires?
“Give me a break. Perhaps find someone who isn’t in the top 0.1% [of earners] to champion this cause.”
Rapinoe had said: “I’m a member of the LGBTQ community with pink hair, and where I come from, I could have only dreamed that I would be standing in the position I am today at the White House.
“I’m also a professional athlete and I’ve helped, along with all of my teammates, win four World Championships and four Olympic gold medals for the United States.
“Despite those wins, I’ve been devalued, I’ve been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman, and I’ve been told that I don’t deserve any more than less because I am a woman.
“You see, despite all the wins, I’m still paid less than men who do the same job that I do.”
She told the committee: “I feel like, honestly, we’ve done everything. You want stadiums filled? We filled them.
“You want us to be respectful? You want us to perform on the world stage?”
“You want role models for your kids, for your boys, and your girls, and your little trans kids? We have that.”
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