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Influential female athletes detailed their experience navigating gender and sports in interviews with "Axios on HBO."

The big picture: The U.S. women's national soccer team winning their second consecutive FIFA World Cup last year widely amplified calls for pay equality in sports. But female athletes still remain underpaid compared to their male counterparts.

  • Nneka Ogwumike, a leading WNBA player, said: "We don't need to change the game. You have to change how you're presenting it to people so that they can appreciate it for what it is. But I do think that because of the inequality in women's sports, it creates natural businesswomen. It creates natural fighters and natural pioneers."
  • Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, recounted harassment by men over her participation: "I really for a very split second wanted to step off the course. ... And I hadn't even understood anything about the feminist movement up to that point. And suddenly, it just all came down on me. By the time I crossed the finish line, I knew I wanted to be a better athlete and I knew I wanted to create those opportunities."
  • Billie Jean King, a tennis legend, said: "We have the same wants the guys do. No one has to be an activist. But I think as an athlete we have a unique opportunity and we need to use our platform to make this world a better place. And it's happening now. For some reason, this generation's all hopped up, and I love it."
  • Ilana Kloss, a tennis champion, praised progress on pay, but noted there's still work to be done: "Where we fall short is: Where are the woman tournament owners? Where are the woman tournament directors? Where are the woman coaches? And you have to be at the table. Otherwise, you're on the menu. And so I think for women and athletes, keep tryin' to get to the table because at least you're in the discussion and your voice can be heard."
  • Kendall Coyne Schofield, a hockey player and Olympic gold medalist, recounted the circumstances leading to the founding of the Professional Women's Hockey Player's Association: "The reality is that there's no professional women's hockey players that can make a sustainable living solely playing the game. Last year, I played in a professional league, and my salary was $7,000. ... And so collectively 200 players from all over the world came together and said, 'We need to make a difference.'"

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."