Megan Rapinoe called on FIFA President Gianni Infantino and U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro to address the imbalance in pay between men and women in football after helping the USWNT win their fourth FIFA Women's World Cup on Sunday.
Rapinoe spoke after she scored in the USA's 2-0 win over Netherlands in Lyon to become repeat world champions.
Per ESPN's Graham Hays, she said:
"Everyone is kind of asking what's next and what we want to come of all of this. It's to stop having the conversation about equal pay and are we worth it and should we and the investment piece. What are we going to do about it? Gianni, what are we going to do about it? Carlos, what are we going to do about it?
"It's time to sit down with everyone and really get to work. This game has done so much for all of us. We've put so much into it. I think it's a testament to the quality on the field, and I don't think everything else is matching that. So how do we get everything to match up and continue to push this forward. Because I think at this point the argument we have been having is null and void."
Rapinoe is one of 28 USWNT players who filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer prior to the tournament, and their representatives will take part in mediation with the federation now that the World Cup has concluded.
Following Sunday's game, the crowd at the Stade de Lyon made their feelings known to Infantino on the matter, per Equalizer Soccer's Jeff Kassouf:
Per Joshua Robinson of the Wall Street Journal, Rapinoe welcomed the crowd's reaction:
For this year's World Cup, FIFA awarded $30 million in prize money, compared with the $400 million purse at the men's World Cup in 2018.
Infantino has said he intends to increase the women's prize money by a further $30 million for the 2023 edition, but the prize money for the 2022 men's World Cup is expected to rise by $40 million.
As for U.S. Soccer, as Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl relayed, the United States men's national team are earning more despite generating less revenue than their female counterparts over a three-year period:
The USWNT have enjoyed much more historic success than the USMNT, too.
The latter, who lost 1-0 to Mexico on Sunday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, have won that tournament on six occasions.
The former have won the CONCACAF Women's Championship eight times, on top of four World Cups and four Olympic gold medals, among many other honours.
They set a record at this year's tournament, too:
Per Hays, shortly after they sealed their win over the Dutch on Sunday, the U.S. women's players association issued a statement urging U.S. Soccer to end the pay "disparity once and for all," offering a reminder that the women's team draws in larger revenues and TV viewership than the men's team.
"At this moment of tremendous pride for America," the statement read, "the sad equation remains all too clear, and Americans won't stand for it anymore."