Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY
Published 2:22 p.m. ET Nov. 12, 2019
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Megan Rapinoe owned 2019 on and off the pitch. On Monday, she accepted Glamour’s Woman of the Year award — another addition to her hardware collection, which includes the Golden Ball award as the top player at the World Cup in France this year.
Her speech lauded the efforts of social activists from past and present but took time to distinguish one prominent figure: Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“So while I’m enjoying all of this unprecedented — and, frankly, a little bit uncomfortable— attention and personal success, in large part due to my activism off the field, Colin Kaepernick is still effectively banned from the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of known and systematic police brutality against people of color, known and systematic racial injustice and known and systematic white supremacy,” Rapinoe said.
“I see no clearer example of that system being alive and well than me standing before you right now. It would be a slap in the face to Colin, and to so many other faces, not to acknowledge, and for me personally, to work relentlessly to dismantle that system that benefits some over the detriment of others, and frankly is quite literally tearing us apart in this country.”
Rapinoe, 34, has been at the forefront of the USWNT’s fight for equal pay, which heightened during the team’s run to gold this summer and remains a pressing issue for the U.S. Soccer Federation to address.
Supporting Kaepernick is nothing new for Rapinoe, who followed Kaepernick’s lead of kneeling during the national anthem during the fall of 2016. Along the way, she’s ruffled some feathers all the way to the Oval Office.
Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season.
On Monday, Rapinoe closed with the following:
“So everybody: We have to do more. We’re here. We’re ready. Everyone’s ready to do more? Good!”