(English) Megan Rapinoe on the Importance of Gay Players

Megan Rapinoe, co-captain and forward of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT), took the opportunity of her team’s recent win against France to point out the vitality of gay players to the game. Rapinoe stated, “you can’t win a championship without gays on your team – it’s never been done before, ever. That’s science, right there!”

She continued, ‘“I’m motivated by people who like me, who are fighting for the same things. I take more energy from that than from trying to prove anyone wrong. That’s draining on yourself. But for me, to be gay and fabulous, during Pride month at the World Cup, is nice.”

Rapinoe has previously kneeled during the national anthem during games, in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the #TakeAKnee protests against systemic oppression of black people and people of colour. Writing in 2016, she explained “I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street. But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache.

There is no perfect way to protest. I know that nothing I do will take away the pain of those families. But I feel in my heart it is right to continue to kneel during the national anthem, and I will do whatever I can to be part of the solution.”