As reported by Keph Senett in the The New Civil Rights Movement on July 19: United States Olympic soccer midfielder Megan Rapinoe’s plain language announcement (“For the record: I am gay”) came in a July 2 interview with Out magazine, effectively ending the speculation that had surrounded the soccer star–and taking her off the market. In the same article it was revealed that she’s been dating an Australian soccer player (forward Sarah Walsh) for three years.
Rapinoe told Out magazine:
“I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” she says. “I feel everyone is really craving [for] people to come out. People want — they need — to see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol’ U.S. of A.”
Last night NBC Nightly News profiled Rapinoe in their Olympic coverage. After talking about the thrill of winning a Gold Medal and her soccer-focused youth with her twin sister, Rachael, who also played competitively until an injury took her out of the game, Megan spoke about the importance of being an out and proud role model for young girls. The segment ended with soccer-playing kids talking about her positive influence.
Fox Sports reported,
“Many athletes who come out say it has been a positive experience – and even performance-enhancing. Rapinoe scored two goals in the U.S. team’s semifinal win over Canada. ”I guess it seems like a weight off my shoulders,” she said on the eve of Thursday’s gold medal match against Japan. ”I’ve been playing a lot better than I’ve ever played before. I think I’m just enjoying myself and I’m happy.”
But in an article titled NBC NIGHTLY NEWS HONORS A GAY AMERICAN SOCCER ATHLETE, Christian blog, JESUS: THE WAY,THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE, thought the segment was “crazy” and Rapinioe’s sexual orientation a “gay choice.”
“The American Women’s Soccer team did a splendid job of winning a Gold Medal in the Olympics today. The crazy thing of the report is that they selected the player who is not straight. Megan Rapinoe should have been honored for her tremendous athletic skill , without pointing out her gay choice. The American Soccer Women have a marvelous talent and the issue of sexual preference should not have been brought up. Leave it up to a Liberal mindset to spin news to their liberal agenda . Honor Athleticism, and not sexual choices.”
The 27-year-old Rapinoe was subbed out in the 57th minute, but earned an assist on the final U.S. goal of the Olympics — a long strike by Carli Lloyd. She finished with 10 points in the Olympics, on four assists and three goals. as the Americans won their fourth gold medal all-time and their third straight.
The team was coached by out and proud coach Pia Sundhage.
Follow our series: “2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes?” as we profile all the out LGBT athletes playing in the London 2012 Olympic games.
Stuart Wilber is a Seattle activist who skipped classes in high school to watch the McCarthy– Army Hearings. Having seen it get better and worse and better again over the years, he continues to hope he will experience full federal equality in his lifetime. *Photo by Mathew Ryan Williams
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