Megan Rapinoe on What Women’s Soccer Needs: The Broadsheet

July 30, 2019, 11:40 AM UTC
Megan Rapinoe Victory Pose-FIFA Women's World Cup Champs
LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates winning the final after the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between Winner The United States of America and Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 7, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Meghan Markle interviews Michelle Obama, women pay more in banking fees, and Megan Rapinoe remains our hero. Have a lovely Tuesday. 


- Show her the money. If you’re looking for a little Tuesday morning inspiration, I strongly recommend this New York Times Magazine Q&A with U.S. women's national soccer team star—and A+ quote machine—Megan Rapinoe. The piece gets the President Trump stuff out of the way quickly, allowing the conversation to make its way to less-trod ground, like how Rapinoe’s style of play evolved in her 30s, what she was thinking when she struck that iconic, post-goal pose, what it was like to realize she’s gay, and how she met her girlfriend, WNBA legend Sue Bird.

There are too many good exchanges to flag them all, but here’s one that jumped out:

“Q: Do you have any sympathy for the idea that sports should be a nonpolitical oasis? 

A: I don’t understand that argument at all. You want us to be role models for your kids. You want us to endorse your products. You parade us around. It’s like, we’re not just here to sit in the glass case for you to look at. That’s not how this is going to go. Yeah, I don’t [expletive] with that concept at all.”

Rapinoe is embracing her role as the breakout star of this year’s World Cup, making it clear that her goals go beyond winning soccer matches—she says she plans to go on fighting for equal pay and equal treatment, speaking out as an “an active participant in this country,” and urging others to do the same.

With that ambition, it certainly sounds like we’re going to be hearing a lot more from Rapinoe—and I hope that’s exactly what happens. But given American’s strange relationship women’s soccer, and elite women’s sports more broadly, holding the nation’s attention in the weeks and months to come won’t be easy.  

Every four years, we fall in love with the women’s national team. Yet almost as soon as they bring home the trophy, the sport (and often, its players) seems to vanish from our collective memory. That’s not news to Rapinoe, who cites two reasons that the U.S. national league has yet to break through: sexism and money.

“People always ask, 'What do you think the league needs?,'" she says. "What do you mean what does it need? We need to get out in the community more? No. We need to tweet about it more? No. It drives me nuts when people ask, 'What do we need?' A billion dollars! So we can do things properly.”

Rapinoe may not have a billion dollars (or, as she laments later, a private jet), but she and her fellow players have given us a billion reasons to support the team and the sport. Let’s see if we repay them properly, by carrying their World Cup energy into the next four years—and putting our money where our mouth is in supporting women's soccer.

Kristen Bellstrom



- Meghan and Michelle. The content is rolling out from the British Vogue September issue, which—as every human alive must know by now—was guest edited by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The highlight is definitely Meghan's interview with Michelle Obama. The former first lady gives the duchess advice on parenting and shares the guidance she gives to Sasha and Malia. The intro, written by Meghan, is fun and engaging, too—a reminder of her days as a lifestyle blogger. British Vogue

- Kamala and AOC. Sen. Kamala Harris yesterday introduced her Medicare for All plan and followed it up with legislation on climate change unveiled with AOC. The climate change proposal would rate environmental regulation based on its impact on low-income communities. New York Times

- Two if by sea. Climate activist Greta Thunberg will be attending the UN Climate Summits in New York and Chile after all, but she'll be traveling responsibly. Instead of an environmentally unfriendly flight, Thunberg will journey from Sweden via racing yacht. Guardian 

- Wage gap fee. Another consequence of the pay gap: low checking balances. Women pay 18% more than men in banking fees, including ATM charges and overdraft fees, new research from the app Stash found. Stash did indeed blame the 20% wage gap for the 18% banking fee difference. Bloomberg

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: SurveyMonkey hired Facebook's Lara Sasken Lindenbaum as VP of communications. PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger signed a five-year contract extension. Former chairman and CEO of BET Networks Debra Lee joins the AT&T board of directors. Teresa Briggs, vice chair and west region managing partner at Deloitte, joins the board of Warby Parker. 


- Thanks, but no thanks. The succession plan for the governorship of Puerto Rico got more complicated this weekend when next-in-line Wanda Vazquez said she does not want the job. Ousted Governor Ricardo Rossello faces pressure to nominate a successor before his resignation takes effect Aug. 2. Fortune

- Gender lens payoff. The Financial Times takes a look at gender lens ETFs and investing. Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund outperformed the MSCI World Index in the first quarter of this year; Veris Wealth Partners predicts assets in gender lens investing will grow from $2.4 billion in 2018 to $20 billion by 2023. Financial Times

- Game on? At the first World Cup Finals for the game Fortnite this weekend, not one player out of 100 finalists competing for the $30 million prize was a woman. It's not that women aren't playing e-sports—but the communities can still be so hostile that many decide it's a "headache" to compete professionally. Competitive pinball, meanwhile... 

- Double problems. Before Victoria's Secret faced renewed scrutiny over its ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the retailer was already in trouble for its increasingly out-of-touch branding. Combined, the two problems have the potential to do serious damage to the company. Bloomberg 

Today's Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe. Share it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


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