Megan Rapinoe Will 'Never Not Be Shocked' by Decision in Equal Pay Lawsuit as LFG Doc Released
Megan Rapinoe is still reeling from the summary judgment that struck down part of the U.S. women's national soccer team's equal pay lawsuit.
The two-time World Cup champion, who was just named to the team's Tokyo Olympics roster, spoke to PEOPLE at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of the HBO Max documentary LFG, streaming Thursday. The doc follows the team's equal pay lawsuit and the crushing blow in May 2020 when a judge ruled in favor of the U.S. Soccer Federation on the most consequential aspects of the lawsuit.
The summary judgment is still surprising to Rapinoe, and some of the team's members are seen reacting emotionally in the climax of the documentary.
"I just will never not be shocked by the summary judgment," Rapinoe, 35, says. "I'll never not be shocked by the things that they say. I'll never not be shocked by the positions that they've taken."
Rapinoe seemingly is referencing the federation's controversial 2020 filings, which implied the men's team deserves higher salaries and funding due to their biological advantages and responsibilities. The fallout from the filing led then-U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro to resign and the team to hit back by wearing their warmups inside out before a game a few days after. The federation also apologized for the filings and hired a new legal team to take over the lawsuit.
"It always hurts really to have, you know, not just anybody say that about you, but to have someone who sees you so up close all the time and understands all the work that you put in," she says of the relationship with the federation.
The documentary gives some of the players the opportunity to show a different side of themselves on camera. While the team is known for its unabashed confidence and dominance, the film shows Rapinoe, Kelley O'Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Sam Mewis, Jessica McDonald and more getting emotional while discussing the ongoing toll of the lawsuit.
"It was almost a little bit natural and probably cathartic to be able to not have to be superwoman all the time," Rapinoe says. "Just to be able to kind of say how difficult it is and how much of a toll it takes and how we wish we could be putting our talent and resources and creativity and intelligence to something else. But you know, this is what's required at the moment."
"This is something that goes so far beyond even our team or what we've had to deal with," she continues. "So we need to be able to stand up there and be really proud of something for basically all women in the world."
LFG is streaming on HBO Max now.
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