On July 7th, along with 16 other recipients including fellow Olympian Simone Biles, Megan Rapinoe was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. While introducing her, President Biden commended Rapinoe’s fearless advocacy for women, BLM, and the LGBTQ+ community.
“Beyond the World Cup titles and the Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for [an] essential American truth that everyone — everyone — is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect,” Biden said in his speech.
Rapinoe’s most notable achievement is her relentless fight for equal pay for the men’s and the women’s national soccer teams.
“She helped lead the change for perhaps the most important victory for anyone on her soccer team, or any soccer team: equal pay for women,” Biden said.
Rapinoe is the first soccer player and 6th female athlete to be awarded the honor.
“I am humbled and truly honored to be chosen for this award by President Biden and feel as inspired and motivated as ever to continue this long history of fighting for the freedoms of all people,” Rapinoe said in a statement.
While Rapinoe beamed with pride receiving the award, she had someone else on her mind: Brittney Griner. Rapinoe wore an ivory pantsuit with the initials BG embroidered on the lapel. She shared a close-up picture on her Instagram story with the caption “the most important part of today.”
Today, Megan Rapinoe — along with Simone Biles — will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House.
Rapinoe posted this photo on her Instagram Stories of her outfit with a nod to Brittney Griner.
— The Athletic WBB (@TheAthleticWBB) July 7, 2022
In a second Instagram post, Rapinoe wrote “BG is being used as a political pawn and we need to bring her hom [sic] immediately. This plea doesn’t change that @potus needs to and is working hard to get her home. From what I understand she had to plea to keep the process of getting her home asap in motion. BG we are with you.”