Scroll To Top

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year


Another crowning achievement for the adored out athlete.

Donald Trump won't be pleased -- lesbian U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year, the publication announced Monday.

Rapinoe, 34, is only the fourth solo woman in 66 years to be named Sportsperson of the Year (she also appears on the cover holding a sledgehammer). Rapinoe's crowning achievement was leading the American team to victory at the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France as well being awarded prestigious sporting titles like the Golden Boot and the 2019 Ballon d'Or. But Rapinoe wasn't named Sportsperson of the Year just for her prowess on the football field -- which has been well-known since Rapinoe played for the University of Portland in Oregon in the mid-aughts -- but for her activism and vocal demands for an end to misogyny and homophobia in sports.

The winger's proud -- one could say feminist -- pose after she scored the winning goal in the World Cup is described as the "signature sporting image of 2019" by Sports Illustrated. The magazine also highlighted her refusal to visit Trump's White House after she brought the U.S. to victory and how she bravely faced down ire from the nation's chief executive, who tweeted his disapproval of the athlete.

The winning goal came days after Trump's Twitter tirade, and Rapinoe said her winning pose was a direct response to the president. She's not intimidated by him or other men in power. "I'm going to do me," she told the magazine.

Rapinoe, a co-captain of the U.S. team and a captain for the Reign FC team in Tacoma, Wash., was also given credit by Sports Illustrated for suing the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay and kneeling at a game in solidarity with former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting racial injustice.

Rapinoe has also centered her LGBTQ activism, donating her time, money, and efforts to Athlete Ally and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.

The athlete is also prepping for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and enjoying some downtime with her partner, basketball star Sue Bird. Reflecting again on the her pose, Bird told the magazine, "This is me in the full ... This is me, and you know you love it."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Are you ready for the Pride concert event of the year?
Don't miss “Can't Cancel Pride: The Future Starts Now,” a celebration of resilience & unity presented by IheartMedia, Procter & Gamble, and equalpride!

WATCH IT online Thursday, June 15th at 8pm ET/5pm PT at or STREAM IT on the Advocate Channel App.

This year’s event is hosted by JoJo Siwa, with a star-studded line-up that includes performances by Big Freedia, Ciara, Billy Porter, Brandi Carlile, Hayley Kiyoko, and Adam Lambert!

Latest Stories