At some point Megan Rapinoe had to look at herself in the third person. This happens to athletes when someone has captured it for a moment, at best in a legendary photo – like Michael Jordans Dunking from the free-throw line, Muhammad Ali over the knocked-out Sonny Liston or Matthias Steiner at the Olympic weightlifting 2008. These athletes then see themselves as Millions of people do it, and then they have to think about themselves. Rapinoe’s photo shows her with a gesture – The Pose! This gesture “was a ‘fuck you’ but with a big grin,” Megan Rapinoe told the magazine Sports Illustrated that she has just named Sportsman of the Year on this photo. About her moment.
“You will not take a spark of fun from us,” was her quote. “You” is Donald Trump, who is always somehow involved when there is an argument going on in the United States. Rapinoe had a verbal duel with the US President before the quarter-finals of the women’s soccer World Cup against hosts France: “I will not go to the fucking White House,” she said regarding a possible Trump invitation to an official world champion -Honred said. His answer: “Megan should win before she talks!”
Rapinoe then scored both goals in the USA’s 2-1 win over France, and afterwards she presented this pose: her right arm stretched sideways, the left one pointing upwards, chin back, broad grin. Even without a middle finger: a “Fuck you!”
Rapinoe, 34, has been a symbol of things that Trump and his supporters loathe for years: a homosexual soccer player who was the only one to have participated in the football quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests against racism and police violence by kneeling in 2016 National team player. Trump fans like to call people like Rapinoe “snowflakes” because they think they are unique works of art and would then melt away when the going gets tough. Rapinoe, however, withstood every pressure in terms of sport. She won the title with the US team in the summer – along with the trophies for the most successful scorer and the best player in the World Cup.
It was about more than football this summer in France – especially about “equal pay”
Six months after this triumph in France and seven months before the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which will be the last major tournament appearance for the then 35-year-old Rapinoe, the question arises: What is left?
It wasn’t just about Rapinoe and Trump this summer 2019, it was about a lot more. After the World Cup triumph in the stadium, the biggest topic was also chanted by the spectator ranks: “Equal pay” was demanded, ie equal pay in top sport for both genders with the same performance. The manslaughter argument of this debate in football is always the income, which is proven to be many times higher for men than for women. However, the US is a special case on this issue, because people are still not as enthusiastic about this sport as anywhere else in the world. And because the U.S. national team of women has generated higher earnings than men in the past three years.
So why does the men’s team in the USA, which had only embarrassedly disgraced itself in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and then lost to Jamaica, Canada and Venezuela this year, more money than the world champions? Why can’t the U.S. Football Association equalize the premiums or pay the women a lot more because they are simply much better than the men?
As Rapinoe recently with the Ballon d’Or Féminin Won World Soccer Player of the Year, she invited her male colleagues Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to join the fight against racism and sexism. Their reaction: silence.
The women actually had to sue the US association in the money dispute, on International Women’s Day by the way, because an out-of-court settlement was not possible. A federal court ruled that the case will now be heard as a class action lawsuit – in May 2020, just before the Olympic Games. This leads directly to Rapinoe again: “We are unable to secure our financial future through the contract with the association,” she says: “This means that we cannot focus exclusively on football.”
In concrete terms, this means that Rapinoe can be seen on talk shows and on front pages. The only commercial with her that will be remembered is the one in which she asks people to financially support the women’s football league NWSL. There is currently only one league sponsor there – for comparison: the men’s league MLS has 24. Rapinoe plays at Seattle Reign FC, the set maximum salary for a player is currently $ 46,200 per season. Rapinoe also earns money from youth camps that run across the country and that are now fully booked.
No, you don’t have to worry about Megan Rapinoe, who by the way does not have her hair dyed by a star hairdresser, but uses paint from the cheap supermarket. Her fortune is now estimated at $ 3 million. She has signed various advertising contracts since her World Cup triumph. But that is not the point.