The US Women’s Soccer co-captain is one of the most inspiring women of 2019. Here, we celebrate her most inspirational, most empowering words of wisdom.
At the end of the year, when magazines and websites alike attempt to round up the most iconic moments of 2019, it’s hard to imagine that anything could top Megan Rapinoe’s post-World Cup celebrations.
Do you know the video we’re talking about? It’s the one in which Rapinoe grips her World Cup trophy in one hand and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot in the other and turns to face the camera, yelling: “I deserve this!”
“This is a mood, an inspiration, a battle cry for women nationwide,” one woman tweeted after the video went viral, and she’s right.
After fielding criticism from every corner (including some charming choice remarks from the thorn in every woman’s side Piers Morgan) for the way she celebrated and took pride in her athletic success, Rapinoe’s mantra was an inspirational one. For so long women have felt that we should take up as little space as possible. Rapinoe busted that myth irrevocably and ebulliently wide open.
“I deserve this,” might be Rapinoe’s most recognisable quote, but it’s far from her only one. The athlete – and forthcoming author – is full of wisdom for modern women. Here are her best quotes:
On deserving success
“You know what? We deserve this. We deserve everything. We deserve this parade, we deserve all the champagne that people are giving us. We deserve all this shine. We’ve worked very hard for it.” A little bit in jest of course, but also I think to be that outspoken voice in the country right now, we’re not just thankful to be there, I’ve worked very hard to get there and feel like, “Yeah, I deserve it.” All right, why not?” – Recode
On using your voice
“As I’ve grown older I’ve really got to understand how powerful one voice can be, my voice can be, or the team’s voice can be. So to hold that back or not to use that just seems selfish in a way.” – Guardian
“Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of color, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you. You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person and you need to do better for everyone.” – CNN
“Growing up, I was never the best athlete or the fastest or the strongest—so I had to affect the game in a different way. Even if you’re extremely athletic and fast, if you’re doing the same thing over and over, the defense is going to figure it out. Really, it’s all about playing cat-and-mouse with the defender so I try to change it up … and put myself in a position where I have options.” – Eight by Eight
“I’m not sure exactly where I get it from. I think I’m born with it a little bit. I think I’ve been very successful in my career, so I get a lot of positive feedback in that way… But I think I also don’t give very many of the F words… I feel like I know my worth and I know my value, or at least what I think it is.” – Recode
“Go gays! You can’t win a championship without gays on your team – it’s never been done before, ever. That’s science, right there! I’m motivated by people who like me, who are fighting for the same things. I take more energy from that than from trying to prove anyone wrong. That’s draining on yourself. But for me, to be gay and fabulous, during pride month at the World Cup, is nice.” – Guardian
On equal pay
“[It’s about] so much more than the money. It’s really more about the investment in the game. Is the investment equal? We’re talking marketing dollars and branding, investment in the youth, investment in the players, investment in the coaching staff. I don’t think that that’s there. I don’t think that that’s ever been there.” – CNN
On making yourself heard
“I kind of want to stop just talking about things and [ask], How do we put things in action? How do we help? What do we do? I think I’m ready for that next thing. I want to be more impactful—the money where the mouth is.” – Rachel Maddow