Megan Rapinoe Creates Her Legacy on and off the Field

This victory proved to be groundbreaking, and not just because of their performance on the field. 

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Megan Rapinoe

US women’s national soccer team’s (USWNT) victory in the World Cup soccer final against the Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon was groundbreaking, and not just because of the team’s performance on the field.

Megan Rapinoe, who claimed the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball, emerged as an icon after reinstating her beliefs and standing up against bigotry at a global platform. From her remarks on the US President Donald Trump to slamming FIFA for dismissing the importance of women’s football, Rapinoe used her influence to campaign for social justice and equal treatment.

In September 2016, she 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.

“I feel like I’m a walking protest.”
Megan Rapinoe

Megan’s Brother – Her Heartbreak and Hope

After the win, Rapinoe shared the moment of victory with her brother, Brian, wishing him on his birthday, as he watched his sister lead the team to victory from a rehabilitation centre in San Diego where he has to finish the final 12 months of his sentence.

It was her brother who first introduced her to soccer as a kid and she grew to deeply idolise him inspite of what followed.

Brian spent most of their adult lives as an inmate and couldn’t leave the country for any of Megan’s World Cup trips.

“I was her hero, but now – there’s no question – she is mine.”
Megan’s Brother, Brian

Her Row With Donald Trump

In the lead-up to Sunday’s win, Megan had a feud with Trump after claiming that she won’t be visiting the White House upon winning the World Cup.

Trump expressed his criticism in a string of Tweets stating that “Megan should win first before she talks.”

“Finish the Job!” and More

However, Trump later put aside the bitterness and reacted to the win by tweeting this...

Lesbian Visibility at the World Cup

With more and more celebrities coming out during the Pride Month, watching people like Megan who came out way back in 2012, two weeks before she was to play for the women’s soccer team in the London Olympics, lead the team to victory is a huge deal for those who might feel unaccepted.

“I’d like to help create more tolerance and acceptance across the board.”
Megan Rapinoe, in an interview

With five openly LGBTQIA+ players, the USWNT gives out a message of inclusivity in sport, fighting stigma and heteronormativity with a massive support base.

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