Maybe one of the most popular athletes globally, Megan Rapinoe, has built up an excellent net worth despite not getting paid close to her male counterparts.
As a member of the United States women's national soccer team, Rapinoe is one of the faces of American soccer in both FIFA and the Olympics. All of her ventures help her make more money on top of her salary as an athlete.
But just how much is the soccer star worth and why isn't it more?
Even though soccer isn't one of the top sports in the United States, the women's national team found success in all tournaments. Still, Megan Anna Rapinoe headlined it over the past few years.
A soccer player from Redding, California, Rapinoe became famous for her elite play and off-the-field activism. She began her career at Foothill High School by playing soccer for Elk Grove Pride, two and a half hours away from home. She played on the team with her twin sister, Rachael Rapinoe, and Stephanie Cox, a future teammate on the US national team.
After high school, both the Rapinoe sisters committed to play NCAA soccer at the University of Portland. Megan played in just 60 games during her career as a college soccer player, suffering two different season-ending ACL injuries. Though she didn't play in many games for the Pilots, she accounted for 88 points, 10th all-time in program history.
Megan Rapinoe NWSL Salary
Rapinoe decided to forgo her final year of eligibility and entered the Women's Professional Soccer Draft in 2009 for the league's inaugural season. She was the second overall pick by the Chicago Red Stars.
Since that time as an American professional soccer player, Rapinoe has played midfielder and winger for the Philadelphia Independence, MagicJack, Sydney FC, Seattle Sounders Women, Olympique Lyon and Seattle Reign FC of the National Women's Soccer League since 2013. In 2019, Rapinoe signed with the Tacoma-based and French-sponsored Washington NWSL team, the OL Reign.
The maximum salary for NWSL players was $46,200 in 2019 but increased to $50,000 in 2020 and $52,500 in 2021. It's unclear exactly how much Rapinoe earns from her pro contract, U.S. Soccer says it's well over $150,000 factoring in NWSL and USWNT play. Still, being the league's biggest star, she's likely one of its highest-paid players.
Megan Rapinoe US Women's National Team
The most significant part of Rapinoe's career has been her time with the U.S. women's national team in both the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.
In 2006, Rapinoe was a member of the USA U-20 women's team. She began her career with the senior team in 2006. Still, She had two more ACL injuries, keeping her out of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Since then, Rapinoe has been a mainstay for US women's soccer, coming up with some of the biggest plays in the team's history. She was a member of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup (and won an ESPN ESPY for "Play of the Year" for a crucial late assist), 2012 London Olympics, 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
She won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, two World Cups and two CONCACAF Women's Championships. The LGBTQ+ soccer star had a big year in 2019. Aside from signing her new deal, she won the 2019 World Cup in France and the tournament's Golden Boot and Golden Ball Awards. The icing on the cake: Rapinoe earned Ballon d'Or Feminin and FIFA Best Female Player recognition in 2019 as well.
As a member of the USWNT, Rapinoe earns a reported base salary of $100,000 per year. She then makes an additional salary between $67,500 and $72,500 for playing in the NWSL, according to a report from U.S. Soccer. She also receives health care benefits and a retirement plan.
Compare that to American male soccer star Christian Pulisic, who makes a reported $188,000 a week, and you can understand why Rapinoe is upset.
Megan Rapinoe Off The Field
As big of a personality as Rapinoe is on the field, her gender discrimination fights off the field have been even more documented and essential. With the USWNT receiving fractions of the salary the men's team receives, Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, among many others, have fought for equal pay.
The women's player is an activist on and off the field. She has kneeled alongside many athletes for the National Anthem, protesting systemic discrimination. After winning the 2019 World Cup, she refused to go to the White House to meet the then-president. She visited Joe Biden in March 2021. Rapinoe and her fiancée voice their support proudly and often on social media.
The footballer has also been vital in the LGBTQ+ community, which she is a part of. She has dated some pretty famous figures, including Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh, recording artist Sera Cahoone and most recently WNBA Seattle Storm star Sue Bird. Bird and Rapinoe got engaged in late 2020.
Megan Rapinoe Net Worth
Megan Rapinoe's net worth is undoubtedly impressive and yet still low for someone who has been at the top of a sport for close to a decade. But even then, the 36-year-old's estimated net worth of $3 million is nothing to laugh at, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
She may not make the same money as a male soccer player, but Rapinoe is still making good money. With a combination of her soccer salary and endorsement deals with Nike, Samsung, Wildfang, DJO Global and others, she has built up some decent value. She also has sponsorships with Hulu and Vitamin Water.
Rapinoe's fight for equal pay isn't over, and the soccer star responsible for keeping American women's soccer on the global map deserves just as much as her male counterparts.
This post was originally published on March 4, 2020 but has been updated since then.
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