TACOMA, Wash. — Fresh off leading the United States Women’s National Team to their fourth World Cup title, Megan Rapinoe spoke to members of the media at Cheney Stadium on Wednesday.
The Reign FC star finished the world cup tied with Alex Morgan after recording six goals and three assists and is now helping to push for equal pay.
"I think we're getting a little frustrated and done with being the group that obviously is discriminated against and having to shoulder all of the burden to explain to people why we're worth it," Rapinoe said Wednesday. “I think it’s time that everyone else steps up, I think that we’ve done everything that we possibly could do on and off the field to fight for our cause.”
“You see us on the field all the time working hard, scarifying, competing, being role models. Then, the second we’re human beings, it’s a problem,” teammate Allie Long said.
Rapinoe won the coveted Golden Boot Award, given to the tournament’s top scorer, over Morgan because she played fewer minutes.
The 34-year-old played collegiately for the University of Portland and has played for Reign FC since 2013.
“To have the impact that we’ve had off the field, even just leading up to the World Cup, and certainly after, I think everyone will certainly look at everyone else with such a sense of pride and happiness,” Rapinoe said.
The American star made headlines in June when she said she would not visit the White House if the team won the World Cup.
"I'm not going to the f------ White House. No, I'm not going to the White House. We're not going to be invited…," Rapinoe said, in part, in a video posted by Eight by Eight magazine.
According to The Associated Press, the interview was conducted in January but was shared online June 26.
On June 26, President Donald Trump responded to Rapinoe's comments in a series of tweets.
“I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should win first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet........ Invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the Team, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team,” Trump tweeted.
After the United States win, Trump took to Twitter to share his congratulations.
"Congratulations to the U.S. Women's Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!" Trump wrote.
Rapinoe has frequently spoken out about politics and has criticized the Trump administration and its policies in the past.
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports in May, Rapinoe said she is "a walking protest when it comes to the Trump administration" because of "everything (I) stand for."
"I feel like it's kind of defiance in and of itself to just be who I am and wear the jersey, and represent it," she said. "Because I'm as talented as I am, I get to be here. ... So it's kind of a good 'F you' to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the (Trump) administration might have towards people who don't look exactly like him."
She began kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to show solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who did it before NFL games to protest social and racial injustice. But the United States Soccer Federation then adopted a policy that requires players to stand.
Now she stands, but she has been criticized by some for not singing and putting her hand over her heart like other players.
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