Megan Rapinoe

U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe is on a mission to make politics cool 

U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe is on a mission to make politics cool 

US women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe is calling for change.  

The OL Reign standout has fought for activism, equality and LQBT rights her entire career. Most notably, she became the first non-NFL athlete to take a knee during the national anthem.

Now, Rapinoe is looking to help people see politics in an engaging way. On her Tuesday night appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the two-time World Cup champion shared what viewers can expect from her new half-hour special, Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe.

[RELATED: USWNT star, Reign legend Megan Rapinoe to host new HBO series]

"I’m sort of on this mission to make politics cool," Rapinoe said. "I feel like politics is always this thing, and it’s sort of meant to like this or packaged just like like, it’s not this cool thing. ‘It’s difficult to get involved in, just stay out of it.’ And then people are like ‘I don’t really want to get involved,’ and it’s like actually politics is engaging with you, whether you are engaging with it or not, all the time no matter what.

"Your whole life is political and especially if you’re a Black person or Black trans woman or a gay woman like myself or a gay female athlete, our lives are political in so many ways, so I’m trying to break it down for people and make it a little more relatable and then get people energized in the civic process, and getting involved in just being more active in their communities, also for themselves."

Rapinoe called the upcoming election the most the important election of her life. She noted the 100 million Americans that failed to vote in 2016. While voter turnout is discouraging among young people, Rapinoe believes those who watch Seeing America could be inspirited to get involved in the civic process. 

“When we all vote, it’s amazing,” Rapinoe said. “We should be trying to be getting as many people involved in voting as possible. It’s one of the greatest things about our country, we live in a democratic country, where everyone can participate and have their voice heard.”

Following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, many are seeing Rapinoe's gesture of kneeling in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick in a new light. 

She began kneeling on Sept 4. 2016, just eight days after the 49ers quarterback gained notoriety for his silent protest. 

She believes the pandemic has opened people’s eyes to “the lies told to them.”

I think people are just starting to connect all of the different dots. We’ve seen what happened to Colin over all of these years and how much backlash he’s got. But all of these things coming to fruition literally what he’s talking about being played out for all of us to see in these videos. 

I guess my hope is that people are starting to connect the dots and realizing that we don’t have to live in a world like this, we don’t have to live in a world where we don’t have healthcare that’s adequate and our schools aren’t adequate. We’re one of the richest countries in the world. We can do better for ourselves and we can do better for the people that are living here. -- Megan Rapinoe 

Perhaps the most important message of her Tonight Show appearance came at the show’s conclusion, when Rapinoe called for justice for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her home after Louisville, Kentucky police officers allegedly executed a search warrant of the wrong home. 

Wearing a shirt with the words “Say Her Name,” the 35-year-old said, “it’s a great time to arrest the cops. Breonna Taylor, Rest in Peace, you went too soon.”

USWNT star, Reign legend Megan Rapinoe to host new HBO series

USWNT star, Reign legend Megan Rapinoe to host new HBO series

Megan Rapinoe’s world takeover continues.

When the U.S. women’s soccer star isn’t making statements with her epic post-goal celebrations, the OL Reign legend is using her time off the pitch to fight for activism, pay equity, and LQBT rights.

Now, Rapinoe is hosting a new series featuring some of the nation’s major political and cultural figures. 

Seeing America With Megan Rapinoe will feature the two-time U.S. World Cup winner in an “ongoing cultural conversation that has been taking place during this significant time in this country’s history.”

Rapinoe will be joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Netflix's Patriot Act host Hasan Minhaj and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

In the trailer, the star-studded guest panel discusses the upcoming presidential election, the challenges we face as a nation, and how we can move forward together.

It is an honor to host a show with a critical conversation between some of America’s most innovative thought leaders. I am so thankful to HBO for providing such a powerful platform for this important dialogue. -- Megan Rapinoe

Rapinoe has long used her platform to advocate for change and justice. 

Recently, U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow apologized to Rapinoe for how the federation responded to her decision to join Colin Kaepernick in protest of racial injustice when she kneeled during the national anthem ahead of USWNT games. She became the first white U.S. pro athlete to kneel during the anthem in 2016. 

Rapinoe joined Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the virtual ESPYs in June, calling for an end to racism. She referenced Kaepernick’s ongoing fight for racial injustice. 

Colin Kaepernick never shied away. He knew that discomfort was essential to liberation, and that fighting the oppression against Black people is bigger than sports. So will it be uncomfortable? Yes. In speaking up, will we make mistakes? Yes. That cannot stop us from trying, and not just for a few days or for a few [Instagram] posts. -- Megan Rapinoe

Tune into Seeing America With Megan Rapinoe as the USWNT star once again uses her platform to shed light on important dialogue. The special will air on August 1 on HBO at 7:00 p.m. PT.

Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe to magnify Black women’s voices in #ShareTheMicNow campaign

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USAT

Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe to magnify Black women’s voices in #ShareTheMicNow campaign

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird know just how important it is to amplify the voices of women in the black community. 

That’s why the Seattle power couple will join 44 other white women and 46 black women in the #ShareTheMic social media campaign which aims to build relationships between women of all colors and to fuel future activism.

According to the #ShareTheMicNow campaign’s official statement, the goal is to “magnify Black women and the important work that they’re doing in order to catalyze the change that will come when we truly hear each other’s voices.”

Beginning Wednesday June 10, Dr. Seun Adigun will take over three-time WNBA champion Sue Bird’s Instagram account. Rapinoe, the USWNT star and OL Reign midfielder, will hand over her password to Movement for Black Lives strategist Fresco Steez.

When the world listens to women, it listens to white women. For far too long, Black women’s voices have gone unheard, even though they’ve been using their voices loudly for centuries to enact change. Today, more than ever, it is NECESSARY that we create a unifying action to center Black women’s lives, stories, and calls to action. We need to listen to Black women. -- Sue Bird

Rapinoe's activism for the black community does not stop there. She is one of the U.S. women’s soccer players urging the U.S. Soccer Federation to repeal a policy that requires players to stand during the national anthem.

Rapinoe began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

On June 21, the Seattle superstars will have another opportunity to use their platforms to educate others about the issues they are passionate about. 

Rapinoe and Bird will join Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in hosting the remote ESPYs

Why Megan Rapinoe isn’t participating in the 2020 NWSL Challenger Cup this summer

Why Megan Rapinoe isn’t participating in the 2020 NWSL Challenger Cup this summer

The 2020 NWSL Challenger Cup is just a few weeks away and while we are eager to see live soccer back once again, there will be a big, pink piece of the tournament missing from the pitch: Megan Rapinoe.

According to the report, Rapinoe, along with other unnamed US internationals, is concerned both by potential spread of COVID-19, as well as the compressed schedule and increased risk of injury. All NWSL players were given the option of abstaining from participation in the tournament, with no impact on their contract status or benefits.

I understand her motivations, but I am disappointed and frustrated that she is not with us to compete in this tournament. Megan is important to the group and we could have accomplished something important with the club, if she had joined the rest of the group. She will be greatly missed by the team and also by women’s football. — OL Reign head coach Farid Benstiti in the report (translated from the original in French).

According to the league, all players will be tested for COVID-19 before leaving for Utah and will then be screened regularly during the month-long tournament. Players from all nine teams will train and live at two Salt Lake City-area hotels. Games will be played without fans at two venues in suburban Salt Lake City.

The Reign drew the eighth seed in this nine-team, 25-game tournament in Utah and will begin preliminary play on June 30th vs. New Jersey Sky Blue FC.

The Challenger Cup begins on June 27.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fyre and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon with special guest Diego Valeri of the Portland Timbers. 

Russell Wilson, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird to host 2020 ESPYs

Russell Wilson, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird to host 2020 ESPYs

The 2020 ESPYs have found its hosts.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, OL Reign wing and former Portland Pilot Megan Rapinoe, and Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird will be hosting the event on June 21, ESPN announced Tuesday morning. 

The announcement comes three weeks after the network unveiled a plan to shift from rewarding athletic achievement this year to highlighting humanitarian narratives in the world of sports. 

“There is so much good being done in the world right now, and The ESPYS are recognizing a sports community whose achievements reach far beyond the court,” said Sue Bird. “I’m proud to be hosting this year’s unique show with Megan and Russell, two athletes I admire for their talent, but more importantly, their compassion in today’s world.”

“The stories we see at The ESPYS each year serve as a reminder of the hope that sports can inspire,” said Megan Rapinoe. “I’m looking forward to hosting the show alongside Sue and Russell, and bringing that much-needed hope to audiences this year.”

“The ESPYS are always a highlight for me every year and I’m incredibly honored that they’ve asked me to co-host this year’s special show,” said Russell Wilson. “Although the sports world is on a pause, Megan, Sue, and I hope to shine a light on some of the amazing stories of resilience that we are seeing through this unique time.”

The show will include the Sports Humanitarian Awards such as the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award and the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award. 

“The ESPYS always have the distinct pleasure of recognizing moments of inspiration, but this year they serve the added purpose of creating a collective experience for fans and players alike who miss live sports,” said Rob King, Senior Vice President and Editor-At-Large ESPN Content. “Part of the fun of The ESPYS is bringing together athletes from across a spectrum of sports and Sue, Megan and Russell represent a diverse lineup of teams. We’re excited to see them bring their passion to hosting the show.”

ESPN will once again use the event to raise money for the V Foundation to fund cancer research in honor of the late basketball coach Jim Valvano. The network has raised nearly $116 million since the show's inception in 1993. 

The 2020 ESPYs will air on June 21, 6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Kevin Calabro.

Megan Rapinoe wins FIFA player of the year award, calls to change the world through soccer

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USATI

Megan Rapinoe wins FIFA player of the year award, calls to change the world through soccer

Megan Rapinoe took home the FIFA Women's Player of the Year Award for 2019 after leading Team USA to a FIFA World Cup Championship. 

Accepting her award in Italy, Rapinoe used her platform to call for change around the world through soccer. 

"I ask everyone here...lend your platform to other people. Lift other people up. Share your success. We have a unique opportunity in football...to use this beautiful game to actually change the world for better. So that's my charge to everyone. I hope you take that to heart and do something, do anything."

You can watch Rapinoe's speech in full here:

The Reign have three games left on their regular season schedule and currently sit in fifth place in the NWSL standings