Megan Rapinoe seems to be mad at the world. The United States soccer star first made headlines because of being co-captain of the winning Olympic team, getting a gold medal for soccer.
As a result of winning, the team was invited to the White House for a celebration. Only, that wasn’t good enough for the soccer star as she didn’t want to be involved in any function that was hosted by Donald Trump.
Now, Sports Illustrated has decided to single her out, honoring her with their most prestigious award of “Sportsperson of the Year.” Sports Illustrated identified that one of the reasons for getting the award is because she became a voice “for so many” around the globe.
Rather than accepting the award humbly and saying, “thank you,” she used the moment to complain. She criticized the very group that was giving her the award because of its “lack of diversity.”
The woman clearly doesn’t know the meaning of graciousness. She’s yet to accept any invitation or honor graciously without turning it into some kind of PR stunt. While she could have easily talked about Sports Illustrated in a positive light since they’re the one giving her the award and providing an opportunity to have her voice heard, she uses the time to go on about how very few women are recognized.
Rapinoe would like to have more women’s voices heard and read within the publication – and right now, she doesn’t sound too impressed with how Sports Illustrated has handled that situation. When Sports Illustrated was asked to comment following her speech, they did not respond with one.
Rapinoe has made quite a name for herself, but not one that is quite deserving of such an impressive title as “Sportsperson of the Year.” She knelt during the national anthem, partly in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick in 2016. She has also used her name recognition and fame to be able to speak publicly on such topics as LGTBQ rights, equal pay for women, and criticism of President Donald Trump.
The soccer player has not held back on her dislike for President Trump, openly criticizing him whenever she’s given the opportunity. In a June interview, she said that she wasn’t going to the “[expletive] White House,” even though the president had invited her and the rest of her team to celebrate.
She also told Sports Illustrated in her recent interview that she doesn’t understand the idea that it’s “un-American to criticize your country.” She believes that’s what makes the country an open democracy.
Trump caught wind of all that Rapinoe was saying, disrespecting the White House and the president. That’s when he took to Twitter to remind her of the flag that she was bearing that made it possible for her to compete on a world level in a sport that she loves.
He said that he was going to be inviting the team, win or lose. He also reminded that Megan should “never disrespect” the country, White House, or flag, especially because of all that’s been done for her and the Olympic team.
The cover for Sports Illustrated for the “Sportsperson of the Year” is typically a shot where the person is in their uniform with some glimpse as to the sport that they play. It wouldn’t have been unusual for Rapinoe to pose in her Olympic uniform with a soccer ball under her foot, for example.
However, she chose to take the photoshoot political, wearing a shirt that showed two women kissing and holding a sledgehammer. This is evidence of her desire to change the world and prove that she’s a force to be reckoned with.
As a female soccer star who is playing the world’s most beloved sport, she certainly has a lot to say. She’s also highly supportive of LGBTQ rights. However, a bit of tact moving forward could serve her well as she has a number of women looking up to her.
The 34-year-old athlete needs to accept an award without turning it into a political battlefield. While she has a voice that she intends to use, it’s considered more gracious to accept an award and move on.
If she had something nasty to say about Sports Illustrated, she should have waited until after she got off the stage. That, or she should have chosen not to accept the award at all. The problem is, she’s just as much of a media whore as Kaepernick and the award was going to give her a platform to spew her hatred of Trump and all other things USA-related.