CNN released an interview on its YouTube page Friday with retired United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) star Abby Wambach conducted by network host Poppy Harlow.
Wambach, the leading scorer in the history of international soccer, retired at the end of 2015 and now wants to “fight” for the women who are currently still playing who may fear losing their jobs for speaking out on gender inequality.
“I think I probably always knew I wasn’t getting [gender equality] and I was always fighting for something and clawing. But, when I retired I kind of realized, ‘Whoa, I’ve been getting mistreated on some level.’ And it took this deep-seeded, innate thing that we all kind of agree and believe in and accept. I was allowing myself to be paid less.”
Harlow asked Wambach how she was able to “stomach” that her USWNT won the 2015 World Cup and was paid $2 million, while the German male national team was paid $35 million for winning the 2014 World Cup. Wambach noted their game to win the World Cup was the most viewed soccer game ever aired in the history of North America, asking at what point females will keep allowing inequality in athletics.
“I didn’t stomach it. That’s why I’m fighting,” she said. “I mean, at what point, as a female, are we gonna keep letting this happen? It’s really scary on the inside, I get it, I was there. You don’t wanna rock the boat, you don’t wanna lose your position, you don’t wanna lose your job, you don’t wanna lose your insurance, you have bills to pay. I get the level of fear that it’s based around, but, now that I’m outside of it, I can fight for the rights of women that are still involved.”
Wambach also gave her support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, saying she lines up with her “personal value system.”
“If I was 10 years old and I look up and I can see somebody in the White House, I can look up and envision Hillary Clinton and I can put myself in her shoes as a 10-year-old,” she explained.
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