Megan Rapinoe lauds Colin Kaepernick in Woman of the Year speech
US soccer star Megan Rapinoe cited football quarterback Colin Kaepernick during her acceptance speech as one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year.
Rapinoe said “I don’t feel like I would be here without” Kaepernick, and said he had demonstrated “courage and bravery” and was “filled with conviction, unafraid of the consequences.”
Megan Rapinoe as a Woman of the Year
Rapinoe had been honored with several women as Women of the Year by Glamour magazine at the Alice Tully Hall in New York.
Aside from Rapinoe, the magazine named actresses Charlize Theron and Yara Shahidi, teenaged climate activist Greta Thunberg, and filmmaker Ava DuVernay for the awards.
Also included were author Margaret Atwood, fashion designer Tory Burch, and the women of the Texas legal nonprofit group RAICES, which has been working to reunite migrant families separated at the US southern border.
In her speech, Rapinoe paid tribute to the women of the world: “Every woman! We’re just killing it the whole year. So shout-out to just women in general.”
Aside from Kaepernick, she also gave recognition to Tarana Burke and the “Me Too” Movement, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi of Black Lives Matter, and the women of “Time’s Up.”
Likewise, she praised Harvey Milk, Gloria Steinem, Audre Lorde, Trayvon Martin, and Sandra Bland in her speech.
“I’ve gained this incredible platform in such a short period of time, but I’m not going to stand on it alone,” she said.
Megan Rapinoe and Colin Kaepernick
Rapinoe said Kaepernick was an inspiration for her activism today because of his decision to kneel during the national anthem before games.
This later led to the former San Francisco 49ers being shut out by the National Football League (NFL) from playing since 2016.
Kaepernick, she said, “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.”
She further said that Kapernick “knew, it really wasn’t about playing it safe. It was about doing what is necessary and backing down to exactly nobody.”
“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 added.
In 2016, Rapinoe also took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with the former NFL quarterback against police brutality.
Likewise, she had made her opposition known to President Donald Trump by refusing to visit the White House if ever they would win the Women’s World Cup– which they did.