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Rapinoe wraps up a career of soccer achievements, social protest

Megan Rapinoe is an American professional soccer player who plays for the OL Reign as a forward.  Photo via Wikimedia Commons Courtesy of Lorie Shaull
Megan Rapinoe is an American professional soccer player who plays for the OL Reign as a forward. Photo via Wikimedia Commons Courtesy of Lorie Shaull

Megan Rapinoe is winding down her long, successful, and controversial career by announcing her retirement.

Throughout Rapinoe’s 17 years playing for the United States Women’s National Team, she has not only been a powerhouse on the field but also in her support of social issues. 

One main topic she helped tackle was equal pay.

In March 2019, 28 members of the USWNT, one of them being Rapinoe, filed for a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation. Their main point was gender discrimination in pay: If both the men’s and women’s teams win all 20 non-tournament games, the men are assured $263,320. This was a large gap from the $99,000 assured to the women. 

To prove their worthiness the women fought for their fourth World Cup title. Finally, after years of lawsuits and making their case, the Federation decided to split pay 50-50 in February 2022. 

But Rapinoe’s advocacy didn’t end there.

In support of Colin Kaepernick, who was then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and who had taken a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, Rapinoe knelt in her next two games.

These brave stances earned Rapinoe criticism from some fans. But as far as her athletic accomplishments, she clearly had an impressive career.

She has made 203 appearances and scored 63 goals thus far. She has also created 73 assists.

Rapinoe is the only player in the “50 goals – 50 assists” club with more assists than goals. 

In 2022, she was chosen by President Biden to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Rapinoe’s final games will be with her National Women’s Soccer League team, OL Reign, while they fight it out in the playoffs. Her team has reached the semifinals, which will be played next week.

Overall, Rapinoe has not been afraid to speak up and use her publicity to voice her opinion. She is a strong female role model and an inspiration for young girls.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Kozak, Club Member
Olivia Kozak is a freshman and first-year Club Member. In free time, she likes to play soccer and read.
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