Megan Rapinoe calls on Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo to fight soccer's inequality issues


Megan Rapinoe, who helped lead the U.S. women’s soccer team to a Women’s World Cup title this summer, won the FIFA Best Women’s Player in the World award
Time Gannett

Megan Rapinoe has stood at the forefront of fight against inequality in women’s soccer. And after she won the Ballon d’Or as the world’s top soccer player of the last year Monday, she is calling on high-profile male stars to join her cause and correct the issues that plague the men’s game. 

“I feel like yelling, ‘Cristiano (Ronaldo), Leo (Messi) and Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), help me.’ These huge stars are not engaged, not active, nor involved in anything and therefore there are tons of problems in the men’s soccer world,” Rapinoe told France Football (independently translated by USA TODAY Sports). “Are they afraid of losing everything? They believe so, but it’s not true. Who’s going to kick out Messi or Ronaldo from the game of soccer for a declaration about racism or sexism?” 

Recently, European soccer has seen an increase in racist outbursts near the pitch. Last week, Fox Sports suspended broadcaster Marco van Basten who used Nazi terminology during an interview. 

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