Last Updated on July 8, 2022
President Biden awarded anti-American women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at the White House on Thursday. Rapinoe has refused to stand for the national anthem while representing team USA in the past.
Rapinoe was among 17 recipients who received the prestigious honor on Thursday. Other recipients included Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, actor Denzel Washington and the late Senator John McCain of Arizona.
Rapinoe became the first soccer player to receive the award, NBC News reported.
“Beyond the World Cup title to Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for essential American truth that everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect,” Biden said at the award ceremony at the White House. “She helped lead the change for perhaps the most important victory for anyone on our soccer team or any soccer team: equal pay for women.”
Rapinoe has long championed the “equal pay” myth popular in feminist circles. Figures cited by “equal pay” advocates do not factor in career choices or other factors beyond base pay.
In terms of sports, Rapinoe has called for female athletes to be paid as well as male athletes despite enormous gaps in revenue generated.
In 2016, Rapinoe and four other U.S. Women’s National Team players filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging gender discrimination. Then in 2019, 28 members of the team, including Rapinoe, filed a similar lawsuit, citing years of gender discrimination in pay, medical treatment and overall workload.
The group ultimately settled with the soccer federation for $24 million and came to an agreement that would pay male and female national team players the same amount for friendlies, exhibitions and tournaments.
Beyond “equal pay” activism, Rapinoe is widely known for her criticisms of President Trump while representing Team USA soccer. After the team’s World Cup victory, Rapinoe said that she would not be “going to the ***king White House,” or meet with President Trump, a customary act. She has also knelt for the national anthem while representing the country, joining a handful of her teammates.
“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 after being named a medal recipient last month. “To quote Emma Lazarus, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free.’”