At this point, knowing who supports whom in American politics is complicated enough. But at a time when minority and women’s rights are under threat, every gesture of support counts, especially if you are a candidate for president.
That’s why seeing a sports icon like football player Megan Rapinoe give her endorsement to Senator Elizabeth Warren is a powerful symbol.
Rapinoe, born in California in 1985, has been a longtime athlete and is now the captain of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the United States women’s national soccer team, with which she won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019.
In addition to her goals — which have earned her the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards, among many others — the soccer player made headlines beyond the sport by kneeling during the national anthem at an international match in September 2016 in support of NFL player Colin Kaepernick, and after leading a complaint introduced by the U.S. women’s national soccer team with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying “the U.S. Soccer Federation pays the reigning World Cup champions far less their male counterparts,” NPR reported.
By March 2019, that complaint became a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination.
Since then, Rapinoe has become an activist for the rights of the LGBTQ community and an icon in the feminist struggle for equal pay.
Now, with her support for Senator Warren, the soccer player makes her positions even clearer.
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I truly believe the best things in life are a result of being bold and being real. This extends to every part of my life and nothing feels more relevant and real than this election. I’m proud to endorse @elizabethwarren today, for being bold, for being real, for listening to ALL of us, and for being prepared to navigate the unique challenges we face today as a country.
In a video posted on social media, Rapinoe told the candidate: “I would love to endorse you and be on your team and help in any way that I can so, consider me Team Warren.”
In an interview with CNN, the athlete explained that one of the reasons she decided to give her public support to the senator is precisely because of her ability to go beyond Donald Trump and “what’s going on in the White House,” to address tangible problems in the country.
“I think we need really big, bold, progressive policies,” Rapinoe said about Warren’s plan. “I love the way she’s right from the jump; she put it all out there.”
“The more you listen to her, the more you get to know her policies… It’s a different vision of America of what we have right now, and, honestly, a different vision of America that we really ever seen before. And it’s one that takes into account all people’s voice. You can see that in her policies.”
Similarly, Rapinoe confirmed her decision through a tweet, saying:
“I’m proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren today, for being bold, for being real, for listening to ALL of us, and for being prepared to navigate the unique challenges we face today as a country.”
However, an Economist/YouGov poll during the last days of the year showed that Warren is still behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders in terms of approval.
Although her positions and policies are crystal-clear, the real possibility of Elizabeth Warren becoming the Democratic Party’s choice to beat Donald Trump remains to be seen.