The battle for equal pay has been front and center in recent weeks.
Just two weeks ago, UMWNT members Megan Rapinoe and Midge Purce were in Washington D.C. to help bring attention to the gender pay gap in America.
Said Rapinoe at the time, "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 have filled stadiums, we've broken viewing records, we've sold out our jerseys, all the popular metrics by which we are judged. Yet despite all of this, we are still paid less than our male counterparts. For each trophy, of which there are many, each win, each tie, for each time we play. Less."
While Rapinoe and many other female athletes have garnered tons of support on the issue, not everyone believes they are handling the issue in the proper way. One of those people is Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.
Green made headlines last week when he said he was tired of hearing female athletes "complain about the lack of pay, because they're doing themselves a disservice by just complaining."
Rapinoe wasn't having it with Green's comments and she addressed them on Wednesday at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s media summit for the Tokyo Olympics.
“He’s not even understanding what we all talk about all the time, whether it's WNBA players or us here on the national team,” Rapinoe said. “And you tagged the wrong people! You don’t think we have asked for more funding? What are we screaming about nonstop?”
“When we talk about equality in women's sports, we always talk – first – about investment. And funding and resources and marketing and branding 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 we talk about first, and I think anybody who watches us or follows us or has skin in the game (knows that). … 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.”
Women don't just need equal pay. They need their hard work and dedication to be taken seriously as well. Like Rapinoe stated, they need to be given the same resources as the men have in order to truly grow.
Said Purce while in D.C two weeks ago, "You would never expect a flower to bloom without water, but women in sport who have been denied water, sunlight and soil are somehow expected to blossom. Invest in women, then let’s talk again when you see the return."
Comments like those Green made just don't help the cause. Women aren't just complaining, they are trying to make meaningful change to the way their professions are treated and they have been doing so for years.
“That was really disappointing," said Rapinoe. "From someone who has such a big platform, as we know, that's just not acceptable at all.”