Megan Rapinoe, the renowned women’s soccer star and LGBTQ+ advocate, recently bid farewell to her illustrious career with a final match in Chicago, concluding her time in the National Women’s Soccer League’s 2023 season. As she played her last game, Rapinoe continued to make headlines not for her remarkable accomplishments on the field but for the criticism she faced from figures like Carrie Prejean Boller and Megyn Kelly, known for their conservative viewpoints.
In an appearance on Kelly’s SiriusXM show, the two commentators seized the moment to launch disparaging comments at Rapinoe, painting her as ungrateful for her success in the United States. Kelly, in particular, highlighted Rapinoe’s stance during the National Anthem, though the footage showed Rapinoe standing solemnly, a gesture not uncommon among athletes.
Prejean, who gained fame as a Miss USA contestant and for her opposition to LGBTQ+ rights, branded Rapinoe a “narcissist” and lambasted her for supposedly exploiting her privilege while claiming to stand up for causes. These remarks added to the growing chorus of criticism from right-wing figures, intensifying after the U.S. women’s national team’s loss to Sweden in the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
While Rapinoe’s athletic achievements are undeniable, her advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights and trans inclusion in sports has also garnered significant attention. She has consistently used her platform to champion the rights of trans women and girls to participate in women’s sports.
Despite the backlash, Rapinoe remains committed to her activism and has received accolades for her advocacy. As she steps away from soccer, she leaves behind a legacy that extends beyond the field, challenging societal norms and advocating for a more inclusive world, particularly in the realm of women’s sports.
Megan Rapinoe’s career may be over, but her impact on the conversation around LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports continues to reverberate, with both fervent supporters and vocal critics voicing their perspectives.