How Megan Rapinoe’s Mother Drives Her Empathy and Activism
Megan Rapinoe is one of the best female soccer players the USA has ever seen. She has countless accolades under her belt with the likes of The Best FIFA Women's Player, FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball, and FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Boot: 2019.
Along with being an excellent soccer player, Megan is also an activist who constantly raises her voice against discrimination, prejudice, and racism.
How Megan’s Mother Influences Her
On May 19, the athlete sat down with Harper’s Bazaar and talked about sports, her career, fiancée Sue Bird, and activism for their June/July issue. She is also gracing the cover of the magazine for the said month.
Megan spent her childhood in Redding, California, with her parents, siblings, and aunt.
Ever since she was a young kid, Megan had always insisted on dressing in boy's clothes and having bowl-cut hair. She compared herself to her brother, Brian Rapinoe, and declared that she was exactly like him.
Back then, it was difficult for one to talk about one's identity. However, her mother, Denise Rapinoe, was always considerate of her and knew that Megan differed from others.
Denise didn't have a good childhood. As one of the eight children from a poor family, she didn't get to experience life properly. With a lack of money and basic necessities, Denise and her siblings used to be made fun of.
Because of her past, the athlete's mother had empathetic views. She believed that everyone had duties towards family and community, no matter the amount of freedom they enjoyed.
Whatever Denise learned from her childhood, she instilled those views in her kids. And those empathetic views are the root of Megan’s activism.
Megan considers her being gay and having such an empathetic perspective as one of the greatest gifts she has been given. With all the things she has learned from her mother, the athlete has always raised her voice from every platform she has been given.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, 2019, Megan took to Instagram to show appreciation to her mother. She reflected on how Denise had worked tirelessly to provide for her family and the strength she had given the soccer player.
Megan gives the entire credit of who she is to her mother. She revealed Denise taught her how to stand up for what was right, to fight for herself and those who needed a helping hand.
Megan’s Activism and Philanthropic Work
With all the activism and philanthropic works Megan has done, it is no surprise that she was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2020 by Time.
Back in 2016, NFL star Colin Kaepernick was under a lot of heat for kneeling during the U.S. national anthem during 49ers games as a protest against racism. Regardless of all the backlashes, Megan followed Kaepernick and kneeled during the national anthem at an international match, letting everyone know she stood in solidarity with the NFL star.
She has also been highly involved in the fight for equal pay. In 2016, Megan was one of the first five women who filed a Charge of Discrimination accusing the United States Soccer Federation of wage discrimination. The complaint was filed in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Besides that, in March 2019, she filed another lawsuit against United States Soccer Federation, along with 27 of her US Women's soccer teammates accusing the federation of gender discrimination.
In 2013, Megan became an ambassador for Athlete Ally, advocating to end transphobia and homophobia in sports. Similarly, she has done various charitable works for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
In 2017, Megan and her teammate Alex Morgan were the first two women to sign up for “Common Goal,” where players donate one percent of their wages to soccer-related charities.