America’s leading Olympic anthem protester and social justice advocate may soon decide to retire, or she may not, but she’s definitely thinking about it.
Megan Rapinoe, who was among the first to follow Colin Kaepernick’s lead and begin kneeling at sporting events, confessed that she was “thinking about” her own retirement following an announcement on Monday that fellow U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) member Carli Lloyd, had decided to call it quits.
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“Just in terms of my whole career, I don’t really know yet. I need to take some time to think about it,” Rapinoe said on ESPN’s Spain and Fitz Show.
“They always say, ‘You’ll know when you know,’ but it’s not really like that, because you could kind of keep going, and it’s like ‘Aw yeah, you’ve accomplished so much, you’ll be fine stepping away.’ But the conversation is always anguished in your mind. Or people just don’t think about it. I’ve been thinking about it a lot.”
Rapinoe has seen more than her fair share of success during her career with the USWNT. In 2012, she won gold with Team USA and won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019. However, despite those accomplishments, Rapinoe is best known for protesting the anthem and being a frequent critic of former President Trump.
During the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Rapinoe made headlines when responding to a reporter about whether she would celebrate the USWNT’s victory with a trip to the White House to visit then-President Trump.
“I’m not going to the “f*ck*ng White House,” Rapinoe responded.
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Rapinoe, 36, compared herself and her career to Lioyd, 39 when describing how she views retirement.
“I feel like people just think play as long as you can, and that’s amazing — you want to play forever — but it’s actually like, no, it is really hard to do that,” Rapinoe said of Lloyd. “There are so few athletes who play to her age or play as long as she has. It’s not just about staying healthy and being able to physically be there, which is difficult in and of itself.
“It’s about continually growing and making sure your game is evolving. For me, it’s the fact she ended her career with an incredible brace in a medal match at the Olympics — just says it all. That’s the sort of person Carli was. As productive as ever.
“She has so many appearances, so many goals. So many memorable goals as well. It’s all good and well to score five goals against teams that don’t really matter, but I think Aaron Heifetz, our media relations guy, said that every medal match Carli played in she scored a goal. That’s greatness. She’s unbelievable. Showing up in the biggest moments, that’s what you want from your biggest players.”
In addition to her national team play, Rapinoe is also a member of the National Women’s Soccer League’s OL Reign.