Rapinoe was honored not only for her efforts on the field, working with the U.S. Women's National Team to take home their fourth World Cup in July, but also for leading the team in its lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay.
The magazine, in a story written by Jenny Vrentas, said that Rapinoe isn’t being recognized “because of her newfound fame” but rather “because of how she’s handled it.”
Presenting SI’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year: Megan Rapinoe— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 9, 2019
She owned the biggest moment of her life and silenced all the doubters, all while becoming a voice for so many across the world https://t.co/Djg6rbAqj3
Rapinoe is only the fourth solo woman to win the honor in the 66 years Sports Illustrated has named a person of the year.
Rapinoe won the Golden Boot this year for earning the most goals in the Women’s World Cup, and in September she was named FIFA's Best Women's Player in the World.
Rapinoe also made headlines in June when she said she's "not going to the f---ing White House” to celebrate the team's world championship, which had not yet been secured. President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE hit back after the viral video was released, tweeting that “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the Job!”
When Rapinoe and her teammates did indeed win, they skipped the traditional visit to the White House, which they had made back in 2015 during the Obama administration after bringing home their third World Cup.
Sports Illustrated noted Rapinoe’s increased political influence, citing her feud with Trump as well as recent invitations to Congress and her interviews on “Meet the Press,” “Pod Save America” and CNN.
But the soccer star told the magazine she doesn’t plan to run for office any time soon.
“I don’t have plans for policies and how to implement them,” she said. “I’ll just be the jabber.”
Rapinoe is also on the 10-person shortlist for Time’s annual Person of the Year award, NBC’s “Today” announced Monday. Time’s honoree will be revealed on the morning show Wednesday.