Megan Rapinoe lauds Colin Kaepernick, Tarana Burke and others at Glamour awards
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U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe used her speech at Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year Awards to celebrate the activism of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, "Me Too" movement founder Tarana Burke and others. 

Rapinoe thanked Kaepernick for his “courage and bravery” and “doing what is necessary and backing down to exactly nobody” for the national anthem protests he started while he was quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

“[W]hile 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 told the audience at the awards on Monday.

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“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,” she continued.

Rapinoe was the first white professional athlete to kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner" in protest of police brutality, and she made headlines for refusing to sing the national anthem during the women’s World Cup earlier this year.

Rapinoe has also been a vocal critic of the Trump administration, going viral after saying that she would not go “to the f---ing White House” before the American team went on to win the 2019 World Cup. 

At the Monday awards, she went on to thank Burke alongside other activists and prominent civil rights figures ranging from Black Lives Matter leaders to author Audre Lorde.

“I’ve gained this incredible platform in such a short period of time, but I’m not going to stand on it alone. I refuse to do that. There’s going to be ladders on every side, all over the place. And I’m not going to act like it wasn’t Colin Kaepernick, Tarana Burke and the 'Me Too' Movement, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi of Black Lives Matter, the women of Time’s Up, Harvey Milk, Gloria Steinem, Audre ‪Lorde, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and the injustices that so many others face that have put me in this very position.

“And I’m not going to act like my whiteness has nothing to do with me standing before you now. I don’t want to live in that kind of world. I don’t think that kind of world is the world that suits everybody and is going to move us forward in the direction that we need to go,” Rapinoe continued.

Rapinoe was honored alongside actresses Charlize Theron and Yara Shahidi, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, author Margaret Atwood, fashion designer Tory Burch and “the women of RAICES,” a Texas legal nonprofit that has represented migrants and worked to reunited migrant families separated at the U.S. southern border.