Megan Rapinoe has been named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, capping off a huge year for the lesbian football star.
Rapinoe, the US Women’s National Soccer Team co-captain led the team to victory at the Women’s World Cup in France in June. She was named the tournament’s best player.
As well as her sporting success, Rapinoe grabbed headlines for her outspoken and passionate advocacy for equality, LGBTIQ rights, and equal pay for women.
The 34-year-old posted a photo of the magazine cover to her social media accounts.
“Honored to win Sportsperson of the Year!” she tweeted.
“I couldn’t have done it without the fans. This award is for all of you.”
Megan Rapinoe is only the fourth woman to be individually named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year in the 66-year history of the title.
On Instagram, she wrote, “Sportsperson of the Year. While we do not get to choose what we see or what happens around us, and sometimes to us and others, we do get to choose how we bear witness to it.”
The publication explained on Twitter, “This year, Megan Rapinoe was a galvanizing force on a team that is now looked up to by any woman who doesn’t want to be told she’s come far enough, who’s taking matters into her own hands.”
Megan Rapinoe calls for social change
Rapinoe captains the professional Seattle Reign FC. Last week, she also won the women’s Ballon d’Or award, given annually to the world’s best soccer players.
Earlier in the year, she also accepted the Golden Ball award at FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony in Milan, Italy.
“We have such an incredible opportunity as professional footballers, we have so much success. We have incredible platforms,” she said in her acceptance speech.
“I ask everyone here [to] lend your platform to other people. Lift other people up and share your success. We have a unique opportunity to use this beautiful game to change the world for better.
“I hope you take that to heart. Do something. We have incredible power in this room.”
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