Megan Rapinoe leaves with a record full of trophies and also leaves a mark that goes far beyond sports
The American soccer player Megan Rapinoe He retires from the national team and leaves a legacy that escapes the playing field. She has been a tireless activist for footing, rights LGTBIQ + and the recognition of Women's Football.
"I feel like I've been able to grow in front of all of you. We're here in Chicago, but there are so many fans across the country and around the world. When I think about what it means to me to represent not only this team, but our country, it's like a little snapshot of all of you. I think this team has always been very proud of that. To show ourselves as we are. I know how important it is to me. I know how important it is for the entire team. We have fought so hard on the field, we have had so much fun and we have had so much success", He said Rapinoe from the center of the field, microphone in hand, at the end of the game.
"We have fought so hard off the field to continue creating more space for ourselves, to be who we are, but I hope at the same time more space for you, to be who you are. It has been a great honor to be able to wear this jersey and play with all these incredible players and live my childhood dream in front of the world. Thank you very much for always loving and supporting us, for singing everything we sing, only much louder. For always supporting us and for all the things that matter to us. I'm not going to be gone forever. Don't worry, I'm one of you now. I am the biggest fan of this team”he added. At times her voice broke and tears appeared.
Rapinoe, a spectacular record
The player born in Redding (California) has managed to become the image of his sport. With the American team, she won gold in the 2012 Olympics, was runner-up in the 2011 World (after losing the final on penalties) and won the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. In the latter she was not only the top scorer, but she was also recognized as the best player in the tournament as a whole and in three of the matches he played, including the final.
He left behind one of the most iconic images of that period of American dominance, celebrating a goal in the final with his arms outstretched and his hair dyed lilac. That same year she was elected Best Player of 2019 by FIFA and received the Ballon d'Or, being the first soccer player in history to achieve both awards.
"Equal pay, equal pay!”
She was one of the 28 players who sued the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) on March 8, 2019 for discrimination before a court in Los Angeles, demanding equal pay with the men's team. The players of the men's soccer team earned more money for qualifying for the World Cup than the soccer players for winning it.
When the Americans were crowned world champions in France in 2019, just before Rapinoe lifted the trophy, spectators at the Lyon stadium shouted: “Equal pay, equal pay!” (“Equal pay, equal pay!”). As a result of that demand, the American Federation announced in May 2022 separate agreements with the associations of soccer players of both sexes so that the men's and women's teams they will charge the same.
She is one of the athletes who have openly declared themselves gay and has supported the causes LGTBIQ +, including the rights of trans people, especially the minors. In 2012, weeks before the London Olympics, Rapinoe publicly revealed that it was lesbian in an interview for the magazine Oct, in which he indicated that he had maintained a relationship with the Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh since 2009. After almost five years together, they broke up their relationship in 2013. Then, Rapinoe and the artist Sera Cahoone They announced their wedding in August 2015, but ended up breaking off their engagement.
Later, he began a new relationship and married the basketball player Sue Bird, five-time Olympic champion with the basketball team United States, who was accompanying her this Sunday Chicago. Rapinoe He also spoke out against racial discrimination (in 2016 he knelt during the national anthem in solidarity with Colin kepernick). In 2022, the president Joe Biden gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in United States.
The soccer player still has a few more regular season games left with the OL Reign, among them the farewell in front of his fans, scheduled for October 6 in Seattle.