U.S. Women’s National Soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe wants fellow players to “change the world” by being more involved in political and social issues through the global platform provided by their sport.
She made her call on Monday night when she was crowned the top women’s player at the Best FIFA Football awards in Milan, Italy.
The 34-year-old mentioned various issues within the game, including racism, homophobia and equal pay, as she collected her award, before applauding the position she and other players had to be outspoken and be heard.
Rapinoe then addressed what she claimed were critical opportunities for her fellow players if they took the megaphone of sporting success and turned it back on the world at large.
We have such an incredible opportunity, being professional football players. We have incredible platforms. 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. I hope you take that to heart, and just do something, do anything. We have incredible power in this room.
Rapinoe is no stranger to mixing sport with politics and social action.
As Breitbart News reported, in June she refused to sing the national anthem during a World Cup game in France, only six days after the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Rapinioe stood silent with her arms behind her back as the rest of the U.S. team placed their hands over their hearts and sang the Star-Spangled Banner ahead of the contest in Reims, France.
Rapinoe had already warned that she would “never sing the anthem again.”
“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart. I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again,” Rapinoe said in May adding she views herself as “a walking protest when it comes to the Trump administration,” because of “everything I stand for.”