Los Angeles, April 7, 2021 (AFP) - United States soccer icon Megan Rapinoe hit back at Draymond Green on Wednesday after the Golden State Warriors star suggested female athletes should stop "complaining" about the gender wage gap.
In an interview last week and posts on social last month, NBA star Green suggested women athletes were partially responsible for income inequality by not doing enough to promote their sports.
It followed controversy over the disparity in resources available to male and female college basketball players during recent National Collegiate Athletic Association competitions.
"I'm really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay, because they're doing themselves a disservice by just complaining," Green said. "They're not laying out steps that they can take to change that."
However Green's remarks were given short shrift on Wednesday by Rapinoe, a key member of the USA's World Cup-winning teams in 2015 and 2019 who has been a vocal advocate for the team's calls for equal pay.
Rapinoe, who was tagged by Green in one of his Twitter posts on the subject, said the basketball star's comments were "disappointing."
"It's really unfortunate that in the position he's in, having all the resources that he has, and the ability to have a much more educated opinion that he just hasn't," Rapinoe said at a media event for members of the 2021 US Olympic team.
"Really frustrating. Obviously he just kind of showed his whole ass in not understanding what we talk about the whole time."
Rapinoe said the fight for equality could only be achieved by broad support across society from all groups.
"We know this about all social movements, and all people who are marginalised, whether by race or gender, religion -- it is not just their job to be fighting oppression," she said. "We need everyone else as well.
"So to have someone who does know what it's like to be oppressed to heap that back on female players is just really disappointing.
"I know a lot of amazing people in the Warriors organisation who I'm sure would be very happy to sit down with him. Hopefully that education comes because it was really disappointing.
"From someone with such a big platform that's just not acceptable."