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Why was Megan Rapinoe awarded the Medal of Freedom? USWNT star a recipient of president’s highest honor in 2022

Why was Megan Rapinoe awarded the Medal of Freedom? USWNT star a recipient of president’s highest honor in 2022

On July 7, Megan Rapinoe was awarded the Presidential Medal of Liberty by U.S. President Joe Biden, together with 16 other people today in a ceremony at the White House. Between individuals persons is fellow athlete Simone Biles.

Rapinoe obtained a contact from Biden on June 23 to inform her of the honor, major to an amusing exchange with teammate Kelley O’Hara. As the Caller ID display flashed “White House,” Rapinoe assumed it was a prank.

“You in all probability want to decide that up,” mentioned O’Hara. She did, inevitably, and heard, “Please maintain for the President of the United States.”

In buy to make the excursion to Washington, D.C., Rapinoe, who is aspect of the USWNT squad for the CONCACAF W Championship this summer months, will pass up the team’s second team phase match against Jamaica, established to kick off at 7 p.m. ET on July 7 in Monterrey, Mexico.

“Megan is of class incredibly unhappy about missing a sport, but I advised her to go,” stated USWNT head mentor Vlatko Andonovski. “She has to go. This is a as soon as in a lifetime honor. She deserves it, and she will be representing herself, her staff and her country at the White Property.

“I consider I can converse for every person at U.S. Soccer when I say we are very proud of Megan and the influence she’s designed on our activity and our region as a man or woman and a participant.”

More: 2022 CONCACAF W Championship scores, schedule, and highlights

What is the Medal of Flexibility?

The Presidential Medal of Flexibility is the greatest civilian honor in the United States. It is the civilian equivalent of the Medal of Honor, which is the maximum military honor a U.S. president can bestow.

“The Presidential Medal of Independence is introduced to people who have manufactured exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or stability of the United States, globe peace, or other considerable societal, community or personal endeavors.” study the White Residence information launch announcing the 2022 award recipients.

“The Presidential Medal of Flexibility is not just our nation’s maximum civilian honor,” said previous president Barack Obama at a Medal of Independence award ceremony during his presidential tenure.

“It truly is a tribute to the plan that all of us, no make a difference exactly where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the much better. From scientists, philanthropists, and general public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these people have served push The usa forward, inspiring thousands and thousands of men and women about the planet alongside the way.”

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Why Megan Rapinoe been given the Presidential Medal of Liberty?

Megan Rapinoe has acquired plaudits on the soccer field throughout her 16-12 months global career, but her receiving the Presidential Medal of Liberty will appear for her accomplishments off it.

Rapinoe was one of the champions of the new collective bargaining arrangement with U.S. Soccer that pioneered some of the most progressive equivalent shell out provisions in women’s soccer globally.

The 37-calendar year-previous is also a winner for homosexual and transgender legal rights globally and she was 1 of the to start with ladies, together with United states teammate Alex Morgan, to signal up for the “Widespread Purpose” campaign designed by former Manchester United player Juan Mata, which saw athletes donate a person % of their wages to soccer-connected charities.

This year’s recipients “have conquer considerable obstructions to accomplish outstanding achievements in the arts and sciences, committed their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to travel transform in their communities — and across the earth — when blazing trails for generations to appear,” the White Home stated.

Particularly on Rapinoe, the White Dwelling observed that “she is a outstanding advocate for gender pay out equality, racial justice, and LGBTQI+ legal rights.”

Additional: Explaining the equal pay offer in between U.S. Soccer and the gamers

Have any soccer gamers obtained the Medal of Independence?

Megan Rapinoe is the initially soccer player to obtain the Presidential Medal of Independence.

Rapinoe and Simone Biles will come to be the fifth and sixth female athletics figures to be awarded the honor immediately after Billie Jean King, Pat Summitt, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, and Annika Sorenstam.

Other male athletes and sports activities figures to have gained the Medal of Liberty incorporate college football coach Lou Holtz, Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, golfer Tiger Woods, Yankees legends Babe Ruth and Yogi Berra, NBA excellent Michael Jordan, Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, boxing legend Mohammad Ali, and golfing greats Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

Other individuals receiving the Medal of Independence in the July 7 ceremony along with Rapinoe will be:

  • actor Denzel Washington
  • previous U.S. Senator John McCain
  • previous Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
  • Apple co-founder Steve Jobs
  • Sandra Lindsay, the initially personal in the United states of america to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine

McCain and Work opportunities will be awarded their medals posthumously.