Megan Rapinoe, Athlete and Activist

Mia Abramson '24, Writer

Megan Rapinoe is one of the world’s best-known female athletes, but did you know that in 2020 she made Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people? Not only did Megan Rapinoe win the Ballon d’Or for being the best female soccer player in the world, but she also expanded her horizons to make activism a whole separate career. Her activism resume includes her being the first white athlete to kneel during the national anthem, refusing to visit the White House after a World Cup win because of her political beliefs, and leading a lawsuit that fights for equal pay in women’s sports. On top of all that she has faced many hardships after coming out in 2012 but has continued to pursue what she loves. She was the first openly gay player to appear on the cover of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and says that laws banning transgender athletes are ‘political assaults’ on the LGBTQ community. After knowing all of the amazing things she has done for the sports and LGBTQ+ community you would be surprised where she grew up. 

 On July 5, 1985, Megan Rapinoe was born in the small town of Redding, California, and grew up alongside her five siblings. While her brother originally inspired her to play soccer, her sister, Rachael, was really the one who pushed her to get better. The two of them played together on various teams including an all-boys team, and although they were the only female players on the team, they dominated the field. The majority of the boys on the team didn’t care until they got older; that’s when the Rapinoe sisters started receiving nasty comments from teammates or parents. Despite these comments, the sisters stayed strong, and to this day Rapinoe compares this experience to her professional career and the backlash she faces after her actions. Additionally, her platform is a place where people feel accepted and empowered for being themselves. 

In conclusion, Megan Rapinoe is an inspiration to all and will continue to be far after her career is over. Because of her background, she has become the person she is today which inspired me and many others to come. Today she is still fighting for what she believes in by filing and winning a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation regarding equal pay in women’s soccer. This step was a pivotal moment in the history of women’s sports and truly represents how Mega Rapinoe will always stand up for what she believes in despite any obstacle in her way.