Megan Rapinoe: No level of excellence can escape inequality

The U.S. Soccer star addressed a Congressional committee on Wednesday morning about pay discrimination across sports.

Video transcript

MEGAN RAPINOE: What we've learned, and what we continue to learn is that there's no level of status. And there's no accomplishment or power that will protect you from the clutches of inequality. One cannot simply outperform inequality, or be excellent enough to escape discrimination of any kind.

And I'm here today, because I know firsthand that this is true. We're so often told in this country that if you just work hard and continue to achieve, you will be rewarded, and rewarded fairly. It's the promise of the American dream. But that promise has not been for everyone.

The United States Women's National team has won four World Cup championships. We've won four Olympic gold medals on behalf of this great country. We've filled stadiums, we've broken viewing records, we've sold out our jerseys, all the popular metrics by which we are judged. And yet despite all of this, we're still paid less than our male counterparts. For each trophy-- of which there are many-- for each win, for each tie, for each time we play, less.

In fact, instead of lobbying with the women's team in our efforts for equal pay and equality in general, US Soccer Federation has continually lobbied against our efforts, and the efforts of millions of people marginalized by gender in the United States. And if it can happen to us, and it can happen to me-- with the brightest light shining on us at all times-- it can, and it does happen to every person who is marginalized by gender.

But we don't have to wait. We don't have to continue to be patient for decades on end. We can change that today, we can change that right now. We just have to want to. So as always, [? LFG, ?] thank you.