United States women's national team star Megan Rapinoe responded to Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green after he said female athletes aren't doing enough to close the pay gap between them and their male counterparts.
"You obviously kind of showed your whole ass in not even understanding what we all talk about all the time," Rapinoe told reporters Wednesday. "... You don't think we've asked for more funding? What are we screaming about nonstop? That was really disappointing, and from someone who has such a big platform, that's just not acceptable at all."
In a series of tweets on March 27, Green said female athletes need to address decision-makers and corporate partners directly to affect the kind of change they're pursuing:
Draymond Green @Money23Green
The business. Stop allowing them to yell women empowerment for the look. No company grows without funding. Y’all business can grow with the proper funding and story telling. Make these huge companies commit money to y’all cause. That’s empowering! Or don’t yell women empowerment
Green addressed the comments during a media call and reiterated his argument, claiming that women athletes aren't taking enough action:
Kylen Mills @KylenMills
"I'm really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay, b/c they're doing themselves a disservice by just complaining."<br>Today Draymond talked about his Tweets about women's sports that received criticism from athletes like @mPinoe & @Layshiac @kron4news #DubNation pic.twitter.com/7iUQ982jx9
Notable voices chimed in to counter attempts to grow the women's sports ecosystem have been ongoing and that making process in that area is a two-way street:
Chiney Ogwumike @chiney
love this dialogue so imma hop in🤍✊🏿.<br><br>stories are being told but until there is equity in the room where decisions are made... it will not be a priority.<br><br>the only thing right now shifting the paradigm is solidarity amongst women, we need men & allies to keep that same energy. https://t.co/CzcVwXhjCZ
napheesa collier @PHEEsespieces
We appreciate u jumping in on the convo @Money23Green The nba & its players r the only ones sitting at these tables from a position of power. So if we really want to hold companies feet to the fire, y’all r the only ones with the leverage to really put these changes in motion https://t.co/z0x437xJGy
Maria Taylor @MariaTaylor
Let’s be careful not to place the responsibility to fix the problem of a patriarchal society’s apathetic view of women in sports on WOMEN. Just like we shouldn’t charge POC with fixing the issues associated racism. But certainly appreciate you watching and searching for solutions https://t.co/ZHGaFc7NSj
Team USA stars Nneka Ogwumike and Angel McCoughtry also addressed the conversation to dispute the narrative Green presented:
Discussions about the differences in resources allocated to men's and women's sports aren't anything new, but they emerged again recently during the NCAA basketball tournament.
Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kershner shared a photo comparing the fitness equipment afforded to the men's and women's players. Whereas the men were provided an array of machines and stations, the women had a weight set and yoga mats. A video by Oregon star Sedona Prince providing more background on the disparities has been viewed 17.6 million times.
Alex Azzi of NBC Sports detailed other areas in which the NCAA failed to provide equal treatment.
It merely underscored a point supporters of women's sports have made for years. The University of Minnesota's Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport determined in December 2013 that women accounted for 40 percent of the athlete population and received just four percent of the media coverage.
The pay gap has become an important cause for Rapinoe after she and other members of the USWNT sued U.S. Soccer in March 2019 over unequal pay and treatment compared to the men's national team. The Wall Street Journal's Rachel Bachman noted the USWNT had generated more revenue than the men following their 2015 Women's World Cup win.