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Volume 22 No. 18
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Rapinoe speaks on social change, being selective with brands

U.S. national women’s soccer team forward Megan Rapinoe spoke with THE DAILY about the current political climate and deciphering what brands to work with while participating in Charlotte’s House of Soccer event around Saturday's Arsenal-ACF Fiorentina ICC match at Bank of America Stadium. Rapinoe called the USWNT's World Cup victory a “win for all of us.” She said, “It feels less of a win and more like a huge moment in this movement, whether it’s Black Lives Matter, or Time’s Up, or Me Too, pay equity, whether we’re talking about immigrants’ rights, whatever it may be. I just feel like this is such a microcosm almost of what’s happening in the country and people just seem energized and excited and really inspired by it.” Rapinoe recognizes the magnitude of the moment in which she finds herself, though she does not shy away from it, instead accepting the social responsibility that she and her USWNT teammates have been given. “I’m actually surprised how comfortable it feels, how ready I am for it,” Rapinoe said. “If I had gone through this in my twenties, it would have been totally overwhelming. I feel much more equipped to kind of handle it all. I’m very comfortable with myself. I’m very sure of the things that I want to say and the message that I have. And I think that helps a lot when a lot of different things are coming at you from all different directions.”

BRAND TRUST: As for what she looks for when considering brands to partner with, Rapinoe said her message has a lot to do with it: “I have very high standards for people that I’m considering now. I want to have not only a financially beneficial partnership but something that goes beyond that. I’m in a position now to demand more out of my partners, so I’d like there to be some sort of social impact, community impact aspect to a lot of the things I do, and just aligning on a message as well.” She added, “I’m in a good position where I can be quite picky, which is very special.” Rapinoe notices people want to know what’s next for her, and her aspirations are “getting a lot bigger.” On a career on Capitol Hill: “I don’t know if politics is where I want to be. I’ll obviously be very involved in politics in some way. I think I might be too wild for politics at this point.”

GROWTH GAME: Rapinoe has learned a lot about the state of women’s soccer in the U.S. since winning her second World Cup, and she is excited about where the sport is heading. “The state of women’s soccer, as always, is ever-changing in a positive direction,” Rapinoe said. “The more we continue to silence doubters and prove people wrong, I think we prove to ourselves, as well.” In terms of what needs to be proven at this point: “We go through it all the time: Are we worth it? Should we be in big stadiums? What pay do we deserve? And I think at every moment we’re sort of redefining ourselves and just turning the sport over, it seems like, every year.” Rapinoe has seen a change, just not at the rate she wants. But she believes she and the USWNT can make a statement and be part of a movement that goes beyond soccer. Rapinoe: “It goes beyond our pay. I think it’s an incredible moment for women right now.”