Update: Megan Rapinoe just one of the out LGBTQ players at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
“It is with a deep sense of peace & gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game,” Rapinoe wrote on Twitter. “I never could have imagined the ways in which soccer would shape & change my life forever, but by the look on this little girl’s face, she knew all along.”
Rapinoe will retire one of the greatest American soccer players of all time, man or woman. After the 2023 World Cup, she will have played in four World Cups, winning (at least) two with the United States Women’s National Team. She also has Olympic gold and bronze medals.
Her cross to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute against Brazil in the 2011 Women’s World Cup remains one of the greatest plays in American soccer history.
Rapinoe’s influence has gone far beyond the pitch, as she has advocated for social issues, most notably her advocacy for equal opportunities and increased pay for female athletes.
She also drew attention when she knelt during the National Anthem.
When she came out publicly in 2012, she was one of the highest-profile active athletes to ever come out publicly. Since then, she has spoken often about being a gay athlete.
Last month, Outsports named Rapinoe the second most-powerful out LGBTQ person in American sports. She was Outsports’ Person of the Year in 2019.
Rapinoe is a legend, and that legend will live far beyond her playing years.