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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 Independence by U.S. President Joe Biden, together with 16 other people today in a ceremony at the White Household. Amongst all those folks is fellow athlete Simone Biles.

Rapinoe gained a contact from Biden on June 23 to notify her of the honor, primary to an amusing trade with teammate Kelley O’Hara. As the Caller ID display screen flashed “White Residence,” Rapinoe thought it was a prank.

“You likely will need to decide that up,” mentioned O’Hara. She did, eventually, and listened to, “Please keep for the President of the United States.”

In get to make the journey to Washington, D.C., Rapinoe, who is part of the USWNT squad for the CONCACAF W Championship this summer months, will skip the team’s second team stage match towards Jamaica, established to kick off at 7 p.m. ET on July 7 in Monterrey, Mexico.

“Megan is of system really upset about missing a video game, but I informed her to go,” mentioned USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “She has to go. This is a the moment in a life span honor. She deserves it, and she will be representing herself, her staff and her country at the White Property.

“I assume I can communicate for everybody at U.S. Soccer when I say we are really happy of Megan and the impact she’s created on our activity and our nation as a individual and a player.”

Much more: 2022 CONCACAF W Championship scores, agenda, and highlights

What is the Medal of Independence?

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the maximum civilian honor in the United States. It is the civilian equal of the Medal of Honor, which is the maximum navy honor a U.S. president can bestow.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is offered to folks who have built exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, globe peace, or other considerable societal, general public or non-public endeavors.” browse the White Home information release announcing the 2022 award recipients.

“The Presidential Medal of Flexibility is not just our nation’s optimum civilian honor,” stated previous president Barack Obama at a Medal of Freedom award ceremony in the course of his presidential tenure.

“It really is a tribute to the thought that all of us, no matter in which we arrive from, have the opportunity to transform this nation for the superior. From researchers, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these persons have assisted push America forward, inspiring thousands and thousands of men and women all over the entire world alongside the way.”

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Why Megan Rapinoe acquired the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

Megan Rapinoe has acquired plaudits on the soccer field across her 16-yr worldwide occupation, but her obtaining the Presidential Medal of Freedom will arrive for her accomplishments off it.

Rapinoe was a single of the champions of the new collective bargaining settlement with U.S. Soccer that pioneered some of the most progressive equivalent spend provisions in women’s soccer globally.

The 37-yr-previous is also a winner for gay and transgender rights globally and she was one of the first females, along with Usa teammate Alex Morgan, to sign up for the “Typical Aim” marketing campaign made by former Manchester United player Juan Mata, which observed athletes donate one percent of their wages to soccer-linked charities.

This year’s recipients “have triumph over significant road blocks to obtain extraordinary achievements in the arts and sciences, focused their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable amongst us, and acted with bravery to generate alter in their communities — and across the planet — while blazing trails for generations to occur,” the White Household mentioned.

Particularly on Rapinoe, the White House noted that “she is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice, and LGBTQI+ legal rights.”

More: Outlining the equal pay out deal amongst U.S. Soccer and the gamers

Have any soccer gamers gained the Medal of Flexibility?

Megan Rapinoe is the to start with soccer player to obtain the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Rapinoe and Simone Biles will become the fifth and sixth woman sports activities figures to be awarded the honor just after Billie Jean King, Pat Summitt, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, and Annika Sorenstam.

Other male athletes and athletics figures to have earned the Medal of Flexibility involve faculty football mentor Lou Holtz, Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, golfer Tiger Woods, Yankees legends Babe Ruth and Yogi Berra, NBA great Michael Jordan, Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, boxing legend Mohammad Ali, and golfing greats Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

Many others obtaining the Medal of Freedom in the July 7 ceremony along with Rapinoe will be:

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

McCain and Careers will be awarded their medals posthumously.