Superstar soccer player Megan Rapinoe appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show fresh off the high of her second consecutive World Cup victory, and it’s safe to say we’re not the only ones with mega-heart eyes for this out athlete and activist.
Rapinoe, captain of the United States Women’s National Team, sat down with the MSNBC talk show host to discuss her team’s epic win in soccer’s biggest tournament—and her closer-to-home fight for equal pay across gender lines in soccer. As Rapinoe noted, the question is no longer about whether women athletes deserve equal pay. Rather, it’s about how to make gender parity in professional sports a reality.
“If you’re not down with equal pay at this point…you’re so far out of reality and the conversation that we can’t even go there,” she told Maddow. “I think it’s time to move to the next phase. I don’t want to fight with my bosses all the time; we don’t want to file lawsuits. We’d much prefer to just move forward because we know that the path forward, and where we go from here, makes it better for everyone.”
As for what fans can do to support the battle for equal pay in women’s sports? Rapinoe says showing up—attending games, becoming season ticket holders, purchasing jerseys and merchandise—is a great place to start.
Rapinoe stans can also take a page from Maddow’s playbook: During their interview, the talk show host complimented Rapinoe’s poise, confidence, and super-political stances during her skyrocket to fame, pointing out a recent post-World Cup poll revealed Rapinoe could actually beat Trump in a run for president. It’s fitting, too, since the soccer star recently told the president to “do better” and “stop excluding people” in a direct-to-camera message on CNN with Anderson Cooper.
“My girlfriend actually just said, ’You need to be careful…they’re going to ask you to run for president,'” Rapinoe told Maddow with a laugh. “’You need to slow your roll!'”
#Rapinoe2020 has a nice ring to it, right?
Watch Maddow’s full interview with Rapinoe below.