- The Washington Times - Monday, December 9, 2019

Megan Rapinoe has been named the Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

The magazine cited not only her performance on the field in helping the U.S. women’s national team to the World Cup title, but also her liberal activism off the field and the fact she was attacked by President Trump.

“Playing the world’s game, on the world’s stage, under attack by a world leader, she dominated. And in doing so without fear, Megan Rapinoe became a voice for so many across the world,” the magazine wrote by way of introducing its article.

Sports Illustrated also cited the fact that the team became a vehicle for feminist activism even during the game, noting that during the final game against the Netherlands, “chants of ‘Equal pay!’ ricocheted around Stade de Lyon,” where the final was being played.

Ms. Rapinoe scored the first U.S. goal in what became a 2-0 win.

She also had won just the second female FIFA Ballon d’Or, the award given to the top soccer player in the world by its world governing organization.

Ms. Rapinoe is the fourth woman to win the prestigious Sports Illustrated award — initially called “Sportsman of the Year — in its 66-year history.

The others were tennis players Chris Evert and Serena Williams, and runner Mary Decker. Several other women — including the 1999 U.S. women’s soccer team — have shared the award.

But as Sports Illustrated made clear, at least a part of the reason for the award was her activism — on behalf of liberal causes — and her brief feud with Mr. Trump, which she ignited by saying in a video that if the team won the World Cup “I’m not going to the f——— White House.”

That caused Mr. Trump to remind her: “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!”

She has since appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, been invited to Congress by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and been recruited for voter-registration drives by former first lady Michelle Obama.

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