Megan Rapinoe has called upon a number of prominent figures in the men’s game, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe, to use their massive platforms to take a stand on issues like racism.
The footballing world was quick to express their sympathy with the widespread protests which followed the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis in May, and the gesture of ‘taking the knee’ in solidarity with the fight for racial justice currently precedes all Premier League matches.
Rapinoe herself was one of the first high-profile athletes to take the knee following NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s original protest in 2016, and has made use of her standing in the women’s game to discuss a wide variety of social issues.
Speaking with L’Équipe in advance of the publication of her forthcoming memoir, Rapinoe suggested that Messi and Ronaldo in particular could be doing more to stand up against racial discrimination.
“They [Messi and Ronaldo] could do so much if they decided to use their stupendous level of popularity to fight racism,” argued Rapinoe.
“I’m not talking about wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, I’m talking about going deeper.”
Rapinoe went on to discuss Mbappe, and the possible effect that the young superstar can have in terms of changing the lives of others.
“I hope he [Mbappe] understands the impact he can have, and how this influence can prove to be formidable for himself,” said the USWNT star.
“He came into the world with an extraordinary gift which allows him to lead an extraordinary, very comfortable life. Perhaps he can ask himself how to establish a balance, how to inspire youth.
“I hope he understands that he can change the world, that it is not just an empty idea. Sometimes you decide for yourself to change the world, sometimes it falls on you. If you want to be the king, then be the best king you can be.”
In other news, Rapinoe – the current Women’s Ballon d’Or holder – announced her engagement to WNBA basketball star Sue Bird over the weekend.