Megan Rapinoe is not one to fool words.
In fact, even without a traditional media presence last year due to lack of club and national team competitions, Rapinoe still made her voice heard through social media. And no, Rapinoe didn’t just sit on her couch or mindlessly scroll through Twitter. The OL Reign and the American women’s attacker were at work, and she was busy.
Rapinoe wrote a book, which was released at the end of 2020. She also accompanied her fiancé, Seattle Storm star Sue Bird, in the WNBA Lumpy. Rapinoe continued to advertise the NWSL and WNBA for hosting successful tournaments and competitions in 2020. She trained and stayed in shape for a busy 2021.
Rapinoe spoke to the media from the USWNT camp on Tuesday and discussed all those various events. Rapinoe also spoke about the current state of the nation after the attacks and uprising on the US Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Rapinoe stated that the attacks will live on forever in the echoes of American history. She went on to talk about the Capitol attacks, for a total of six minutes.
It’s just striking how awful it was and how insane it was, she said. … To see where we’ve gotten in these four years has been devastating, and also, I think, hopefully the last straw for so many people to really understand that the reason we were here is that we never really took have taken into account what our country really is.
Rapinoe is not speaking out against current President Donald Trump for the first time. She stated publicly that she would not go to the White House if the invitation was extended after the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which the United States won. On her social media, Rapinoe publicly disagreed with and criticized the president, while lobbying and putting her support behind Joe Biden (after initially backing Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic primaries).
Rapino’s full answer ended with her calling the Capitol attack a blot on the United States.
This is a huge blot on the country, but hopefully an opportunity for us to move forward in the way we need to, she said.
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Rapinoe spoke at length about a busy 2020.
However, she was not suitable for OL Reign. Rapinoe chose to opt out of the NWSL Challenge Cup and Fall Series competitions. The attacker said the opt-out was due to COVID-19 concerns, as well as self-awareness that she was not ready for competitive games due to a lack of team training.
[I] just wasn’t really in a place where I felt comfortable putting myself back into competitive games, and the concern about the virus [were there], frankly, she said.
I still have a lot of concerns about viruses as it rages all over the country, but the Federation has established itself here in a great environment that feels very safe and is as close to a bubble as possible; were sort of in the middle of nowhere, Florida, Rapinoe said, referring to the US women’s national team camp in Orlando.
Rapinoe said she and Bird were trying to stay positive about COVID-19. When Bird joined her Seattle Storm teammates in the WNBA Wubble, Rapinoe also followed.
To be a part of that, taking the time to spend together and be part of the incredible WNBA season that took place and also shout at the NWSL I think they did such a fantastic job, don’t only every season off and that it’s really safe, but with social justice at its core, Rapinoe said.
When Rapinoe joins OL Reign, you have to avoid new faces. Last year, Farid Benstiti took over as head coach, bringing in a new wave of players such as Costa Rican international Shirley Cruz, Madison Hammond and Dani Weatherholt.
This off-season, the Reign have redesigned their roster. The club added Ally Watt, Cosette Morch and Brazilian international Angelina. On Wednesday night at the NWSL Draft, the Reign took on Mexican international Jimena Lpez.
In addition to her club teammates, Rapinoe said she is proud of the large group of players in the NWSL who have made a difference with their social justice spotlight.
I just have a tremendous amount of pride and respect for so many people who are going through their journey and learning and growing, and who are more comfortable talking about things, Rapinoe said. Obviously, from what we’ve seen over the summer and just through the pandemic with the protests, hopefully many people’s eyes will be opened, especially my fellow white teammates.
Equipped, repaired and ready to roll
Now, for the first time in almost a year, Rapinoe is back in team training, but with the national team. She said the benefit of the long layoff was that she felt more rested than ever throughout her career.
I’m in a much better position on January 12, 2021 than I was a year ago, apparently when I came out of the World Cup and everything that followed was just, you know, great chaos, but nonetheless, she said.
Now Rapinoe is ready and excited to adjust and play football again.
It was very difficult not to be on the field with my teammates and not have a consistent training environment, Rapinoe said. Anyone who really knows me knows I hate working out on my own as it is. So to have to do that for 10 consecutive months and keep myself motivated was really hard, but I’m really looking forward to being back on the field with my teammates.
Rapinoe saw her first competitive action since March 2020 during the US friendly against Colombia on January 18-22 at Exploria Stadium. Both games will air on FS1 at 4 p.m. PT.
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