USWNT star Megan Rapinoe fears the coronavirus pandemic has ended her days as an Olympian
“Frankly, I think the Olympics are in doubt next year,” she told CNN David Axelrod in an episode of his podcast “The Ax Files” released on Monday. “The more I think about it logistically, just bringing everyone together like that with the lack of drug therapy or something like that just seems difficult.”
For Rapinoe, 34, a two-time World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist, any further delay could be a source of uncertainty for his career.
“Certainly, you want to be able to go out the way you want and not be pushed by a pandemic,” she said, adding that it was probably the last Olympics for her and her girlfriend, WNBA player and Olympian. Sue Bird.
“If it happens that, you know, we can’t play sports for a number of years or anything, you know, this situation will be what it is. And I think we will be at peace with that.” But I think we both hope we can play at the Olympics. ”
Rapinoe also noted that Covid-19 could delay the next steps in the USWNT’s legal battle with the American Football Federation for equal compensation. The team filed a gender discrimination complaint in March 2019, demanding more than $ 66 million in damages.
A federal judge dismissed the team’s demands for equal pay on Friday, allowing only allegations of unfair travel, accommodation and staff from the trial. The team plans to appeal. Prior to the announcement of the setback, Rapinoe told Axelrod that she still hoped that a settlement could be reached.
“It is the only federation we can have,” said Rapinoe. “We are the only team they can have. We will be linked together forever. So I am always hopeful that there is a way to work through this. But I really believe that there has to be a major paradigm shift in the way they think about the women’s team. ”
She continued, “But I think to honestly have the paradigm shift that we need, there has to be a house cleaning. I don’t think you can have all of them, you know, a lot of the same people who have oversaw a lot of these decisions and have been there for a long time. You know, unless they all came to Jesus. ”
As part of its legal argument, the American Football Federation has filed a brief claiming that women’s and men’s teams have different jobs, in part because men are inherently faster and stronger, calling it “unquestionable science”
“To signal not only to the boys that they are just naturally better, but to the girls that they are naturally inferior was fair, I mean, it was stupid,” said Rapinoe. “It just, I think, really showed how deep that feeling was that they were willing and comfortable putting it in a public briefing.”
Also on the podcast, Rapinoe spoke of the long-term financial impact of Covid-19 on women’s sports leagues, which already operate with fewer resources and pay their athletes significantly less than their male counterparts.
“We don’t have the reserves in the NBA,” she said. “I’m not really sure we are deepening the summer and you know, are we going to have a season or not?
“I am not really sure of the financial future of the leagues. I hope we can get by and be able to come back strong next year whenever we can. But it is certainly a big concern for them. women’s leagues across the country and the world, frankly. ”