World Cup winning soccer player and vocal LGBT rights activist Megan Rapinoe says that the world would likely become a significantly better place if women ran it, telling British paper The Guardian that she learned long ago that women “always have to fight” for equality.
Rapinoe, 33, has had plenty of experience with activism since announcing she was gay, ahead of the 2012 Olympics. One of the nation’s highest-profile LGBT advocates and greatest soccer stars, Rapinoe was one of 5 top women’s soccer players to sue the U.S. Soccer organization so that women’s national team members would no longer be paid four time less than their male counterparts — an effort that culminated in a new contract that effectively doubled women players’ incomes. She and teammate Alex Morgan were also the first women’s players to sign up for men’s player Juan Mata’s Common Goal program, which encourages athletes to donate at least 1 percent of their earnings to selective charities. Despite the fact that women players’ earnings continue to be dwarfed by those of men, Rapinoe said that she had seen more and more women getting involved with the program, other charities, and initiatives to promote equality.
“Women are always at the forefront of all this kind of stuff, racial inequality or pay inequality, maybe because we’re always having to fight for something and we truly understand what gender discrimination looks like and pay inequity looks like. It’s very close to home for us,” said the legendary midfielder. “We very much understand that it takes bold voices and bold steps to make things change. Our game is changing so much but it also has so much room to grow and we want to be a part of that and we really feel a responsibility to ensure we leave the game in a better place than where we found it. So, I don’t know what it is but maybe women are just better than men in that way.”
“It’s like men have run the world for all these years, maybe they should just take a few hundred years off,” she continued, laughing. “And we can just take it for a few hundred years and we’ll see where we are.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.