Megan Rapinoe Is the 2019 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

The Reign forward is the fourth woman to win the award unaccompanied.

By Marisa Comeau-Kerege December 10, 2019

Make room in the trophy case, Sue! Megan Rapinoe is bringing home another award. Sports Illustrated just named her its Sports Person of the Year. She appears on the new issue’s cover with a smirk, her signature purple coiffeur, and a sledgehammer:

Rapinoe, a forward for the Reign FC in Tacoma, is just the fourth woman to win the title unaccompanied in the award’s 66-year history. But she’s no stranger to challenging norms. According to Sports Illustrated, she has continuously been a champion for equality in all forms, from convincing her teammates to sue the US Soccer Federation for equal pay to following in the footsteps of Colin Kapernick by kneeling during the anthem. That tenacity and leadership could be found first and foremost on the field. Rapinoe coached the players that worked alongside her on the left field. As captain she would head into the locker room at halftime to convince her players that even though the game was tough they were playing great. She knew her own tendencies well enough to go low and right to throw off the goal-keeper and score the first of two goals in the World Cup final game, which the U.S. Women’s team won against the Netherlands.

Back in Seattle with her partner, three-time WNBA champion and Olympian, Sue Bird, Rapinoe continues to inspire women and girls across the country. Sports Illustrated stated that she won the award not for her fame, but how she handled it. Rapinoe has used her platform to support work like her youth girls soccer camps and clinics teaching them confidence and the ever-important right of being visible as female athletes. 

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