Megan Rapinoe: American Soccer Star And A Perceived Champion For Social Justice


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Megan Rapinoe is one of the most popular female soccer players in America. However, Megan Rapinoe’s fame isn’t just because of her exploits on the football field, she is also famous for her activism. Megan Rapinoe’s activism tends to usually go overboard in the “woke” direction but her work towards the upliftment of LGBT people can’t be overlooked. Let’s find out a little more about her.

Megan Rapinoe: An Activist Sportsperson

Who is Megan Rapinoe?

Megan Anna Rapinoe, also known as Pinoe, is an American former professional soccer player who played as a midfielder or winger, her last team being OL Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League. As a member of the United States women’s national soccer team, she won the 2015 Women’s Soccer World Cup, the 2012 Olympic Gold, and the silver medal at the 2011 Women’s Soccer World Cup. In the 2019 World Cup she won gold with the team and was also awarded the Golden Ball, Golden Boot and MVP in three matches of the competition, including the final. On September 23, 2019 she was chosen the Best Player of 2019 by FIFA and she received the annual Women’s Ballon d’Or, being the first soccer player in history to receive both awards in the same year

When was Megan Rapinoe born?

Megan Rapinoe was born on July 5, 1985, in the Californian town of Redding. Her parents Jim and Denise Rapinoe encouraged little Megan to take up sports.

How was Megan Rapinoe’s childhood?

Megan Rapinoe grew up in Redding, California, with her parents, Jim and Denise, and her five siblings, including her twin, Rachael. She spent most of her youth playing with teams coached by her father until high school.

How was Megan Rapinoe’s sports career as a junior athlete?

Instead of playing football at Foothill High School, Rapinoe played for the Elk Grove Pride team, located south of Sacramento.​ She competed in track and field as a freshman and sophomore; basketball as a freshman, sophomore and senior; and was on the honor roll every semester of high school. She was named to the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2004. Rapinoe played for the North Carolina State under-14 Olympic Development Program (ODP) team in 1999 and also for the ODP regional team in 2002. 

Megan Rapinoe: Awards and Accolades

In March 2013, Rapinoe was named Player of the Tournament at the 2013 Algarve Cup which the United States won. She scored a goal and had an assist in two games. After scoring two goals and assisting on another during a 4–1 win over Chicago Red Stars on July 25, 2013, she was named NWSL Player of the Week by the media in week 16 of the 2013 season. of the NWSL. 

In December 2014, Rapinoe was inducted into the Shasta County Sports Hall Of Fame along with other Shasta County athletes Ryan O’Callaghan and Ricky Ray. In April 2015, Rapinoe was named NWSL Player of the Week for Week 2 of the 2015 NWSL season.

On July 7, 2022, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the President of the United States, Joe Biden, the highest award in the USA, for his contribution to equality in the world. 

Rapinoe is known internationally for her elaborate and technical style of play, and for her precise pass to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the 2011 Women’s World Cup quarter final against Brazil, which ended in goal and equalized the score. The United States would later win the match in a penalty shootout. During the 2012 Olympic Games, she scored three goals and was the team’s top assist provider with four assists, winning the gold medal for the United States.

Rapinoe is an advocate for numerous LGBT organizations, including Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally. She is also an activist for equal treatment and visibility towards women’s soccer.

Following the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Rapinoe’s hometown of Redding honored her with a parade and named September 10 as Megan Rapinoe Day. She received the Harry Glickman Professional Female Athlete of the Year award at the 60th Oregon Sports Awards held on February 12, 2012. On October 25, 2012, she was one of ten female players nominated for the FIFA World Player award. That same year, she was a finalist for Sports Illustrated’s Most Inspiring Performers of 2012. Rapinoe was awarded the Board of Directors Award by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center on November 10, 2012, for raising awareness about LGBT people in sports.

Is Megan Rapinoe a lesbian?

On July 2, 2012, Rapinoe publicly revealed that she was a lesbian in an interview for Out magazine, in which she revealed that she had been in a relationship with Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh since 2009.​ After approximately five years together, Rapinoe and Walsh ended their relationship in 2013. Rapinoe and artist Sera Cahoone then dated and announced their wedding in August 2015, but later broke off the engagement. Rapinoe subsequently began a new relationship and married basketball player Sue Bird, a five-time Olympic champion with the United States basketball team.

Is Megan Rapinoe an LGBT and Women’s Rights activist?

Megan Rapinoe has done philanthropic work for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the United States Olympic Committee. In 2013, she became an ambassador for Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization that focuses on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports. She is considered one of the best-known voices in the defense of the rights of the LGBT community. 

Megan Rapinoe is an activist for equity and recognition of women’s soccer on equal terms with men’s soccer. On March 8, 2019, she was one of the 28 players who filed a complaint against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) for discrimination before a court in Los Angeles, demanding equal pay with the men’s team. When the National Team won the 2019 World Cup in France and just before Rapinoe lifted the champions trophy for the United States, the spectators at the Lyon stadium shouted: “Equal pay, equal pay!”

Which are some of Megan Rapinoe’s big endorsement deals?

Megan Rapinoe has signed endorsement deals with Nike and Samsung. She has appeared in several Nike advertisements. In 2013, she appeared in an advertisement for the clothing company Wildfang and began a partnership with the health products company DJO Global. On June 16, 2021, she was signed along with Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, as new ambassadors in the relaunch of the women’s underwear brand Victoria’s Secret.

Which magazines has Megan Rapinoe appeared on?

Megan Rapinoe appeared on the cover of Curve in the March 2013 issue. She was profiled in the August 6, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated and the July 2012 issue of Out. The April 11, 2013 edition of The New York Times included an article about her experiences in France, with the national team and coming out before the 2012 Olympics. In July 2014, Megan Rapinoe also appeared on ESPN’s The Body Issue.

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