Today on The Players' Tribune, Megan Rapinoe along with retired soccer players Carmelina Moscato and Lori Lindsey, and her sister Rachael Rapinoe, opens up about being a tomboy in a hilarious roundtable conversation.
Rapinoe and friends discuss feeling out of place growing up, the perception and reality of women's soccer, the USA/Canada rivalry, and coming out.
Excerpts below. Read the full story here: www.theplayerstribune.com/megan-rapinoe-uswnt-soccer-tomboys/ .
On the women's game:
"In America, women's soccer has totally exploded in this amazing way. It's also exploded in this way that suits the status quo. The media attention on the team is so much more than in the past, but it still needs to be diversified in my opinion. Women are still so objectified in the media and sports is no exception."
"It's really frustrating that ad companies are so quick to promote that. We need to stand up and say, "No, it's unacceptable to us to be promoted in only this way. We are much more than just one thing. We are strong, and fierce and badass."
"There's definitely times in photo shoots where you really do have to be your own advocate. It shouldn't have to fall on your shoulders, but unfortunately it does, and you have to say something. I think it is the athlete's responsibility to change the conversation, and to demand a higher standard."
"Well, even look at America. Look how far we've come. But we still have a ways to go, if I'm being honest. We're world champions, but come on, we're still not equal. There are still a lot of issues to overcome."
"Little girls who grow up playing soccer shouldn't feel pressured to have a ponytail and put on makeup. That's not what should be on every poster or commercial. Not to say that having a ponytail is bad, or wearing makeup is inherently bad, but it shouldn't be the only option. There should be attention on many different women, with many different looks."
Megan on coming out:
"I'll just end on this. When I came out publicly a few years ago, there weren't a lot of out athletes male or female. There still aren't, which is kind of surprising. I think people feel isolated and alone. They're worried about putting themselves out there. But for me, that isolation ended a long time ago. It ended because of you guys, and my other friends in this sport. I have my people, and they understand me. That's all I've wanted since I was the weirdo in sixth grade. I'd trade any number of World Cups for that."
Carmelina on the US/Canada rivalry:
"I'll give it to you guys. I'll say it. The USWNT is on another level a whole other planet right now. My teammates will give me crap for this, but while watching you win the World Cup was really hard, it was also amazing, because I know your journey."
"Don't get me wrong, do I wish it happened our backyard?! You know the answer to that. Ha! But at the end of the day, the one thing this beautiful game has given me is incredible friends. Even American ones."