If you don’t know who Megan Rapinoe is, do you even check the news?
Megan Rapinoe has slowly gone up on the most popular female footballers in the world. Megan won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball after her incredible gameplay in the finals match of the FIFA Woman’s World Cup 2019.
She has been in the news after her remarks to the US President, Donald Trump following almost immediately with her slam towards FIFA for dismissing the importance of women’s football. Rapinoe has constantly used her influence to campaign for social justice and equal treatment.
What’s more? The group is now the highest selling soccer jersey. “The USA Women’s home jersey is now the No. 1 soccer jersey, men’s or women’s, ever sold on Nike.com in one season,” says CEO of Nike, Mark Parker.
What is Rapinoe protesting about?
Rapinoe was brought to the spotlight after she blasted President Trump. She says that she will not visit the White House if the US Women’s National Team wins the World Cup.
Trump’s immediate response about Rapinoe was on Twitter, telling her to “win first before she talks” and “finish the job”. He then extended his White House invitation to the “win or lose” team.
— Eight by Eight (@8by8mag) June 25, 2019
Trump was further made upset by Rapinoe when she knelt during the American National Anthem, showing her support with Colin Kaepernick.
Colin Kaepernick, a former American quarterback for the NFL, is best known for his political stance. His refusal to stand for the national anthem of the United States of America gave cause to a lot of talks. He was the first to not stand, but sit, and later kneel during the anthem. This was done in protest against police brutality and racism in America.
In September 2016, Rapinoe became the first white athlete to protest against police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem and continued to do so as a gesture of solidarity with the NFL protests.
Since then, with the spotlight on Rapinoe, she has become increasingly brighter.
Following the Twitter response of Trump, Rapinoe went ahead and won herself the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe. She helped her team win the finals and then proceeded to do the greatest thing she could’ve possibly.
She went looking for her girlfriend, WNBA star Sue Bird and shared a kiss with her while 58,000 spectators brought cheer for the team.
For Bird, all the presidential drama was a bit much. She wrote out a 2,900-word article for the Players’ Tribune which had the title ” So The President Fucking Hates My Girlfriend”.
“I mean, some of it is kind of funny….. but like in a REALLY? REALLY? THIS GUY??? kind of way,” Bird, a star on the Seattle Storm, wrote. “It would be ridiculous to the point of laughter if it wasn’t so gross,” writes Bird in the article.
“You just cannot shake that girl,” she wrote. “She’s going to do her thing, at her own damn speed, to her own damn rhythm, and she’s going to apologize to exactly NO ONE for it,” she continues while speaking of Rapinoe.
This isn’t the first time that this sports power couple has made headlines. Last year they were the first gay couple to appear on the cover of ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue.
She also became an icon when she brought up equal pay, stating that FIFA gave more prize money to their men counterpart. The prize for the 2018 men’s World Cup was $400 million. This year’s winnings for the women will total $30 million.
Since then, FIFA President Gianni Infantino told reporters, the organization will double the prize to $60 million for the next women’s World Cup in 2023. “It certainly is not fair,” says Rapinoe. “We should double it now and use that number to double it or quadruple it for the next time.”
Rapinoe also called out FIFA for its “terrible scheduling.” On the same day the US women’s soccer team face off against the Netherlands in the World Cup final, North and South America will both wrap up their continental men’s soccer tournaments. The US will play Mexico in the Gold Cup final, and Brazil will battle Peru for the Copa America championship.
“That’s a terrible idea to put everything on the same day, in every way,” Rapinoe said.
Fans cheered for the star and supported her cause during their finals match. “Equal Pay” was echoing through the stadium in Lyon, France.
Do you know what’s the best part of all this? This simpleton star has brought up gay rights, equal pay, racism, oppression and stood her word while she battled the world for it. She is showing the show-biz world, or just about anyone who has a voice, to speak up. She uses her platform to her fullest extent, even if it means getting backlash. Even if the backlash is the President himself.
And to that, we applaud.
Since you’re here, also read: LGBT Inclusion In Sports