Green, in a series of tweets last week, spelled out various opinions on the gender pay gap in sports, and essentially argued that women must build their own platforms, which will in turn increase revenues, which will in turn lead to better pay.
He then doubled down on those opinions a few days later, telling reporters that he’s “really tired of seeing [female athletes] complain about the lack of pay, because they’re doing themselves a disservice by just complaining.”
Rapinoe and others have pointed out that it’s not solely on women to build those platforms; that they have been advocating for themselves for years; and that they need outside investment from everybody, especially men, who have largely governed organized sport throughout its existence.
Rapinoe went deeper into that argument Wednesday. “You don’t think that we’ve asked for more [investment]?” she told reporters at a Team USA media event. “I mean, what are we screaming about nonstop?”
Rapinoe and other female athletes have long advocated for more investment in women’s sports. She and teammate Midge Purce did so just last month at the White House.
“When we talk about equality in women’s sports, we always talk first about investment, and funding, and resources, and marketing, and branding,” Rapinoe said Wednesday. “And investing in not just the players but the support staff, and coaching, and media, TV media, print media, all of it.
“Those are the things that we talk about first. And I think anybody who watches us, or follows us, or really has skin in the game in equal pay, or equality in that sense, knows that that’s what we talk about first. And at the very end, we understand that if all of those things are done, then yes, we will most likely be requiring a much higher salary than we’re at.”
Where Rapinoe and Green seem to agree is that a principle reason for the gender pay gap is the lack of corporate and media investment in women’s sports. Green, though, seemed to argue that this lack of outside investment was the fault of women.
“What I’m saying to these women is, stop allowing them to do that,” Green said last week. “Call these people out. Call them out, specifically.”
Rapinoe responded on Wednesday, pointing out that she and others have called out companies and media outlets. “Obviously you kinda showed your whole ass, not even understanding what we all talk about all the time, whether it’s WNBA players or us here on the national team,” she said of Green. “So that was frustrating.”
Green, in his tweets, tagged several WNBA players. “You tagged the wrong people,” Rapinoe said, echoing her partner, Sue Bird.
“And we know this about all social movements, and all people who are marginalized by race or gender, religion, sexuality, whatever it is: It is not just their job to be the ones fighting oppression,” Rapinoe continued. “We need all of the other people as well.”
“So to have someone who does know what it’s like to be oppressed, in many ways, to heap that all back on female players, or people who play female sports, is just really disappointing,” Rapinoe said of Green. “He has all the resources in the world. There’s obviously a lot of amazing people that I know personally that work in the Warriors organization, who I’m sure are very happy to sit down with him. And any of us really would be happy to sit down with him. So hopefully that education process comes. ‘Cause that was really disappointing. And from someone who has such a big platform, as we know, that’s just not acceptable at all.”
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