Megan Rapinoe, the "big mouth" of women's football



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The 33-year-old American, who is one of the best players in the world, perfectly dominates the running equipment. And not just on the floor.

On the breakfast table this morning in 2013, we went to two bites of bread from a "gate in crescendo." Traveling with Olympique Lyonnais, Megan Rapinoe surprised both hands … in the candy basket. "I went to find her to tell her that she could not eat it in a few hours of play, Tell the patron Patrice Lair, the coach of the time, smiling in his voice. She rested, but I felt she did not understand why it was not good. " That day, the Lyon coach also understood that he would have to manage a player who was not like the others.

Megan is in the life as she is on the floor. Free, completely free.Patrice Lair, his former coach at OLin franceinfo

Patrice Lair, who drove for a year in Lyon in 2013, is right. Wherever she goes, "Pinoe" never leaves you indifferent. "It's someone who does not have the tongue in his pocketI smiled at the technician. She says what she thinks. It's very American as a way of doing things, at least not very French. " Basically, to turn a football metaphor, the 34-year-old American star soon perfectly mastered the running equipment, not just the field. Before the World Cup in France, which ends on July 7, his appearances at a news conference were expected as tasty moments.

She followed the debate on marriage for all

Because the midfielder knows to mark with the pants the subjects that are close to his heart. At the top of the pile is the LGBT cause. Megan Rapinoe herself left. It was in July 2012 in the columns of the American magazine out *. "It's my job to say that I'm gay, She says. That's what I am. So I'm gay, that's it, it's official. " A few lines ahead, she dares to say out loud what many in the middle think quietly.

In women's sports, if you are a homosexual, your team is very likely to learn quickly. It is a very open world and homosexuality is widely accepted. This is not the case for men. It's sad.Megan Rapinoein the magazine "Out"

Eight months later, the American takes advantage of her contract in Lyon to give a layer in the French press. "Sport is one of the last bastions of homophobiashe saysu world. And it's even harder for gay sportsmen. The stereotype of opposing virility and male homosexuality is still alive. " From her apartment in the city center of gones city, she then watched as the French people fired around the marriage for all. The Californian is in favor of the law. "I could not prove why we were traveling to Epinal, she said at the time. This is very important progress. "

Your exits are every time they fly. In 2018, she is chosen to make the first page of the special edition Body Style What ESPN does* every year. Megan Rapinoe poses naked, alongside her partner, professional basketball player Sue Bird. And once again, deal with support: "It is great to say that we will make this coverage considering the period the United States is going throughshe says, delighted, to the American TV channel. We are not just high level athletes but we also go out together. We are difficult to cook. "

In his entourage, we all kept a copy of the magazine. "It's cool that she has become a gay icon"savor Carmelina Moscato, one of her best friends, accompanied by franceinfo. "A lot of people identify with her, and that's fine, she uses sports and her notoriety to act, and I'm sure she has the shoulders to change her attitudes.applauds the former Canadian international, now a consultant. Basically, she's assuming what she is. " For example, Megan Rapinoe had the rainbow flag long as a Twitter profile photo.

An "f *** you" addressed to Donald trump

On September 4, 2016, Megan Rapinoe still creaked a few teeth, this time refusing to stand up during the American anthem, before a game of her team in Chicago. It starts over eleven days later, during a friendly between the United States and Thailand. That night, the captain knelt when the first notes in The star-flagged flag sounded at Columbus Stadium, Ohio.

The sequence revolves around the American media. Lèse-majesté crime, suffocates the American Football Federation. "We hope that all those who represent our country stand up and pay homage to our flag during the national anthem" call to order football*. Summoned to explain, Megan Rapinoe confirms that it is a good "support gesture" for Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback of49ers from San Francisco who had refused a year before rising during the American anthem to protest against police violence and discrimination against blacks in the United States. USA. "It's my way of making my voice heard, then explains "Pinoe" to ESPN*. This is the least I can do. "

We have to see what our flag and our anthem represent: does this anthem and the flag really protect everyone?Megan Rapinoeon ESPN

World Cup or not, Megan Rapinoe is no longer cooperative on French lawns. To our Yahoo colleagues*, the international explained before the competition that there was little chance she would sing or that she would put her hand to her heart. She kept her word: before the first United States game against Thailand (defeated … 13-0 by the Americans) in Reims, she remained silent while her teammates shouted. "It kind of kind of f *** you" – " addressed to Donald Trump to "What hurts topeople who do not look exactly like him" She says. It must be said that the player does not actually use the current American president in his heart. Is someone from "Sexist", in "Misogynistic" and "Racist" she continues in this interview held in mid-May.

The White House tenant is not the only one with ears that whistle. American football is also taking that to your post. Before arriving in France to defend their title of world champion, 28 international players decided to call the American federation for justice for discrimination. In your complaint*, to which Francein had access, refer to a "blatant disparity in wages" in comparison with men, but also in the media "preparation", "training" and "medical care". And who is the maneuver? Megan Rapinoe!

American football player Megan Rapinoe, January 22, 2019, on the pitch of Alicante (Spain).
American football player Megan Rapinoe, January 22, 2019, on the pitch of Alicante (Spain). (PHOTO SPORT / NURPHOTO ACTION)

In the past, the initiative is applauded with both hands. "Megan, I've known her since her first rally with the national team, and today she's more than just a footballer.Briana Scurry, who was guarding the cages during the American coronation in 1999. It becomes indispensable to play a social role. " Carmelina Moscato only half laugh when she says that Megan would make a good team delegate! "" I've known her for nine years, I knowShe does not like injustice. When there is something that does not please her, she does not hang out, period. " From his reporter's office in Chicago, John Halloran agrees. "It's someone who says what she thinks, Franceinfo entrusts the American journalist. I've interviewed her a good dozen times since the mid-2000s. She's a good client. You know what to do, andShe is not afraid ".

If there is something wrong, you can be sure that she will say it!John Halloran, journalistin franceinfo

He is also someone who has the heart in his hand. She reverses 1% of your salary to charities through the Project Common Goal released by Spanish footballer Juan Mata in 2017. And last summer she signed a check for $ 100,000 to help victims of the massive fire that devastated tens of thousands of hectares of vegetation at home in Northern California.

"She's playing the joke"

Throughout the seasons (and speeches), the American seems to have sensed his aura. "As I get older, I understand how powerful a voice can be " she admits in the columns of guardian*. today 532,000 people follow on Instagram, 434,000 on Twitter and 323,000 on Facebook. Join her? More complicated than talking to a French minister. "It's not easy"his team replied. "What you want, it's a star!"ri Carmelina Moscato. David Beckham also went there with his little compliment: "She is an incredible player and a great person", one day declared the English star.

It's also that the player has a certain sense of the show, and not just because his platinum blonde hair is entitled to it. Twitter account itself* Or that several songs were written about it. On July 2, 2011, she surprised everyone by picking up the microphone at the edge of the field to sing Born in the USA Bruce Springsteen, just because she had just scored her first goal at the World Cup.

As for music, it is always she who sets the mood for the "Team USA" locker room. Guitar hung, she loves the rock of Florence and Adele's machine and soul. In Lyon, the New York Times * I saw it a night at the opera applauding a troupe from the Czech Republic. She also loves Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls, coffee, beer and wine. "It's a good living thingsays her long-time friend Carmelina Moscato. He's the funniest person I know. With Megan, you're sure to have a good night. She's joking about a joke. "

Sepp Blatter knows something: on June 2, 2015, after revelations of suspected corruption at Fifa, the football player shared a humorous tweet that aims at who is for a few hours again the head of world football. . "Ding dong, the witch is dead, daddy was caught in the bag," she writes, sounding nothing.

"A great side of the mouth"

"Rapinho" or "Rapinodinho" (her other nicknames) knows that sometimes she can occupy a little space. "I felt I was putting some of his teammates a bit uncomfortable at times, loose for Franceinfo one near Olympique Lyonnais. Eleven like her, it would be difficult. "" She has a big side of her mouth, smiles the journalist Antoine Osanna, who was following the OL girls to Progress This type of profile does not really exist in men. In any case, not in France. It was even more amazing. "

Ingerible, the American? Carmelina Moscato comes in support: "It's a bit excessivedefends his longtime friend. Those who think she is doing too much should especially wonder why others do so little ".

It's all to your credit do not settle for scoring goals, right?Carmelina Moscatoin franceinfo

This is especially what it is today "almost untouchable"Says sports journalist John Halloran. Carmelina Moscato only half agree: "Megan knows what she's doing, she's never free, there's always an objective behind it." It's behind this "grain of madness"there is a well made head. "That's how we were created"explains to New York Times * the one who grew up in Redding, aThis is a conservative town in Northern California. Around her, five brothers and sisters (including a twin, Rachael), cats, dogs and chickens.

Her words, always incisive, certainly have to do with studies in sociology and political science that she followed younger at the University of Portland, Oregon. How nice Briana Scurry would not be surprised if he ever took political responsibility. In fact, she already started to do this: on April 12, 2016, the midfielder found himself at the same table as Hillary Clinton, then the Democratic presidential candidate, to discuss equal opportunities and pay.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with American football player Megan Rapinoe on April 12, 2016, in New York (USA).
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with American football player Megan Rapinoe on April 12, 2016, in New York (USA). (BRENDAN MCDERMID / REUTERS)

We asked all of our interlocutors the same question. Patrice Lair, who was his coach in Lyon, smiled. "Beyond the coach I was to her at the time, she opened my mind on many social issues, including the relationship between men and women, she will remain etched in me."

* Links marked with an asterisk refer to articles or content in English.

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