Megan Rapinoe Announces She Will Retire at the End of the 2023 Season

Jul 27, 2021; Ibaraki, Japan; USA player Megan Rapinoe (15) kneels before the start of the
Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

U.S. soccer star and outspoken left-wing activist Megan Rapinoe says this will be her final season as a professional soccer player.

Rapinoe, 38, took to Twitter on Saturday to inform her followers of her retirement and to express her gratitude for a long and successful career.

“I’ve been able to have such an incredible career, and this game has brought me all over the world and allowed me to meet so many amazing people,” Rapinoe wrote. “I feel incredibly grateful to have played as long as I have, to be as successful as we’ve been, and to have been a part of a generation of players who undoubtedly left the game better than they found it. To be able to play one last World Cup and one last NWSL season and go out on my own terms is incredibly special.

“I want to thank my family for being by my side all these years. Thanks to all my teammates and coaches all the way back to my first days in Redding, on to college at the University of Portland and of course thanks to U.S. Soccer, the Seattle Reign and especially Sue, for everything. I will forever cherish the friendships and support over the years in this game, and I am beyond excited for one last ride with the National Team and the Reign.”

Rapinoe represented the United States in the 2011, 2015, and 2019 World Cups. She will appear in her final World Cup in 2023. Rapinoe had a star-studded career on the playing field, winning two World Cups and a host of other accolades. However, she gained far more notoriety for her political stances than she did for anything accomplished on soccer’s biggest stage.

Rapinoe’s rise up the social justice ranks mirrored that of the man many claim was her inspiration for political activism, Colin Kaepernick. The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) team star became among the first to follow Kaepernick’s lead by kneeling during the national anthem.

Megan Rapinoe

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Then, like Kaepernick, Rapinoe was rewarded with a lucrative Nike contract for her activism. But that wasn’t the last time she would be rewarded for advancing the leftist cause. In May 2020, Rapinoe told VICE that America had a “white nationalist in the White House” about then-President Trump.

Only one week after publicly attacking the president of the United States, ESPN announced that Rapinoe would host the ESPYs award for that year.

Megan Rapinoe at The 2022 ESPYS held at the Dolby Theatre on July 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California, USA. Photo by Christopher Polk/Variety.

Megan Rapinoe at The 2022 ESPYS held at the Dolby Theatre on July 20, 2022, in Los Angeles, California, USA. Photo by Christopher Polk/Variety. (Chris Polk/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)

But perhaps no other singular incident propelled Rapinoe to the top of the news cycle more than her statement in 2019 that she would not go to the “f*ck*ng White House” to see President Trump if the USWNT won the World Cup.

In truth, there are way too many instances of Rapinoe engaging in left-wing activism to confine to just one article. The reality is she is more activist than an athlete, and she’s only retiring from being an athlete, not from being an activist.


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