Meghan Rapinoe is Becoming what She Hates
Meghan Rapinoe is not just about being one of the best Women's Soccer Players in the World. She is about being one of the best Soccer Players in the world and getting paid.
We are about to get into some semantics.....
When I think of all time Women's Soccer greats, Rapinoe is definitely in the conversation as one of the best ever. But first I think of Marta from Brazil, Mia Hamm and Amy Wambach from the U.S. of A, or Ada Hegerberg from Norway.
But just last month, ESPN ranked the top 50 women's players in the world, right now, and Meghan Rapinoe came in at #40. That's not me being a jerk, that's ESPN. Directly from ESPN itself:
"Rapinoe's profile off the field has skyrocketed given her leadership in the U.S. players' equal-pay fight as well as her support of social-justice issues." - ESPN
So Rapinoe's argument is that she led the USWNT to back-to-back World Cup victories, pay her. What she's not about is elevating the exposure of Women's Soccer. I didn't even know what club team Rapinoe played for. (The OL Reign, which used to be the Seattle Reign. Rapinoe is the Reign's all-time leading scorer.)
Jaded geezers don't think she should get paid what she wants.
Doesn't matter. Pay her.
Rapinoe is currently outside the Top 10 all-time in USWNT history in CAPS and Goals. She ranks #4 all-time in assists.
Doesn't matter. Pay her.
The USMNT sucks at the international level.
When I think of the greatest Women's player of all-time, I would have to say it was Mia Hamm. When I think of Mia Hamm, I think of an all-around great. I also think of Mia Hamm as an Ambassador of the Sport.
If you said Ada Hegerberg, I think of a player who put her club before her country. Yes, she's great and won a ton of team hardware for Lyon and individual hardware for herself, but is she an Ambassador of the Sport? Nope. I think of her famous quote "screw you Norway."
Editor's note: That quote is paraphrased.
When I think of an Ambassador of the Sport, I think of a Sportscaster like Julie Foudy who retired from the USWNT, second all-time in CAPS, who talks about growing the game.
If you said Marta.
Ahhhh, now here's the crux of our article.
Last year, Marta, fighting back tears, looked into the camera and pleaded for the future of Women's Soccer in Brazil:
“There's not going to be a Formiga forever, there's not going to be a Marta forever, there's not going to be a Cristiane.... Women's football depends on you to survive. Think about it, value it more. We're asking for support. You have to cry at the beginning and smile at the end.” - Goal.com
Meghan Rapinoe & Marta are the same age.
I don't begrudge any of Rapinoe's causes outside of soccer. All I am saying is that when women's soccer is struggling to survive in most parts of the world, it is a bad look when the current face of the USWNT is talking about getting paid, first and foremost. You know who else talks about getting paid, first and foremost? Pretty much all of your favorite scumbags at FIFA.
You're screaming that women deserve equal pay to the men? Okay, I'm going to wave a magic wand and make it so. How does that help the sport of Women's Soccer moving forward? Did an American Teenager ever quit soccer because the USWNT and the USMNT didn't get equal pay? [That answer would be no.]
"For female footballers, accepting a job abroad is often less a matter of preference and more a matter of necessity, in many countries, women still can't openly play football at all. And, even in Germany, I've known top-class players who have quit football because they couldn't support themselves through the sport." - DW