TL;DR - Summary
Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe: sporting icons, social activists and long-time couple. Their extraordinary partnership reflects the new athlete activism. In addition to athletic success, the two US-American women are passionate about social justice. From LGBTQ+ rights to supporting Colin Kaepernick and Equal Pay, their influence is immense. Bird, a basketball legend, brought political change with her advocacy against a Republican senator. Rapinoe, a football icon, fought for equality and protested injustice. Awarded, revered and with their own companies like "Togethxr" and "A Touch More", they actively shape the world.
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Many sports careers testify to the excellence, will and talent of the athlete. Few careers become incredible biographies because, in addition to the athletic, they also tell of the human greatness or specialness of the individuals. And then there is the story of Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe: Two extraordinary athletes and personalities who are probably the most influential pair of activists trying to make U.S. society more tolerant, socially just and democratic. Along the way, the two have made it into Vogue, TIME magazine, and the covers of Sports Illustrated and ESPN's Body Issue.
The two lesbians have been married since 2020 and a couple since 2016. They are shaping a new kind of athlete activism that goes beyond occasional statements. This includes advocacy for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, the Black Lives Matter movement, abortion rights and Equal Pay, or non-discriminatory pay.
In an interview with ESPN journalist Katie Barnes, Bird commented, "Female athletes are used to having to fight for themselves.Female athletes are used to being pushed to the side and not having the attention they deserve. And so with that, they're used to using their voices, they're used to having to advocate for themselves, for each other."
So it was Rapinoe who was one of the first athletes* to support former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, kneeling during the U.S. anthem at several games. Rapinoe: "First of all, we're white people in this country, right, so we have privilege. We didn't earn it, but we have a responsibility to, you know, make it even." Continuing, she told Barnes in the same dual interview, "There's a reason Colin Kaepernick is not in the NFL right now and why he was blackballed in the way that he was. I think everybody has a responsibility to do what they can in the most impactful way that they can."
Bird made that impact in 2020, among other years. During the 2020 Senate election, Bird and her teammates spoke out against Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia. Loeffler was then co-owner of the Atlanta Dream women's basketball team. Loeffler spoke out against the Black Lives Matter movement. In protest, Bird and her teammates urged people to vote for Loeffler's Democratic opponent. Loeffler lost the election and sold her shares in the team.
Sue Bird: her successes, her career, her time in the WNBA and on the US team.
Sue Bird was born in 1980 and went down in history as one of the best female basketball players of all time. She is only 1.75 meters tall, but has an excellent eye for her teammates and a knack for making threes.
Larry Bird and Sue Bird are not related.
Although they share the same last name, there is no connection of Sue Bird with Larry Bird, the former NBA star of the Boston Celtics. Sue Bird ended her career in the fall of 2022. She played her entire professional career with the Seattle Storms in the WNBA, partly in parallel with an engagement in Russia. If you want to know more about this curious period, listen to the English-language podcast. 30 for 30 "The spy who signed me".
The New Yorker's title collection is absurdly long: 5-time Olympic champion, 4-time world champion and 4-time champion in the WNBA. Of course, Bird also holds a number of personal records: she is the player with the most All-Star appearances and the most assists in the WNBA.
Rapinoe also has more than just attention-grabbing successes to her credit. As an openly homosexual woman, she has always made it clear where she stands. Any kind of social injustice is a thorn in the soccer player's side. She has taken a knee to protest racial inequality and has spoken out against mass incarceration with blunt honesty.
She has also worked with teammates for years to advocate for equal pay for U.S. national team players compared to their male counterparts, winning "equal pay" in court.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned U.S.-wide abortion rights in 2022, she gave a tearful rant during a U.S. team press conference. She consistently refused to visit then-U.S. President Donald Trump after winning the 2019 World Cup. Even beforehand, she said, "I'm not going to the fucking White House!" Trump's attack against Rapinoe on Twitter was not long in coming. He wrote that Megan should win before she talks. In the end, she not only won the title, but also the small attention duel against the then US president.
Megan Rapinoe: Her accomplishments, career, time in the NWSL and on the U.S. team.
Megan Rapinoe was born in 1985 in Redding, California. She played most of her career in the NWSL, the National Women's Soccer League, also in the Australian and French first leagues. She is a two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist. Personal awards in professional sports include Winner of the Ballon d'Or Féminin or The Best FIFA Women's Player 2019. Sports Illustrated named her "Sportsperson of the Year" in the same year. TIME magazine included her in its list of the most influential people of 2020, and she received the "Presidential Medal of Freedom" from US President Joe Biden. She then picked it up at the White House. That same year, Rapinoe published her biography, which promptly became a New York Times bestseller. With a little patience, you can save yourself the trouble of reading it; Sony has secured the film rights. Rapinoe currently plays for the OL Reign in the NWSL and on the U.S. national team.
As is common for many sports stars, Bird and Rapinoe also have stakes in various companies. Activism is at the heart of these as well. For example, Sue Bird, together with Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim and Simone Manuel, founded the mediahouse "Togethxr" where "representation and equality are the norm." The company produces content that gives greater visibility to women in sports.
Together, the two also founded at the end of 2022 the production company "A Touch More" founded. "As women athletes, we know how influential our own platforms are and the impact we can have on the world," Bird and Rapinoe said in a statement about the company's launch. "'A Touch More' is a manifestation of our values and our desire to make visible the stories of those who shape and advance culture."
Who are Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe?
Sue Bird is a retired basketball legend, and Megan Rapinoe is a football icon. They are also a married couple known for their extraordinary careers and activism.
What sets Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe apart in addition to their athletic achievements?
Bird and Rapinoe are influential activists, advocating for various causes such as LGBTQ+ rights, Black Lives Matter, abortion rights, and Equal Pay. They go beyond occasional statements, shaping a new kind of athlete activism.
When did Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe get married?
They got married in 2020 and have been a couple since 2016.
What kind of athlete activism do they engage in?
They actively support LGBTQ+ rights, Black Lives Matter, abortion rights, and Equal Pay. They use their voices to address social injustices and inequalities in society.
How did Sue Bird impact the 2020 Senate election?
During the 2020 Senate election, Bird and her basketball teammates spoke out against Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, co-owner of the Atlanta Dream. In protest of Loeffler's stance against the Black Lives Matter movement, they urged people to vote for her Democratic opponent, leading to Loeffler's loss and sale of her team shares.
What is Megan Rapinoe's stance on social injustice?
Rapinoe has taken a knee to protest racial inequality, spoken out against mass incarceration, and worked for equal pay for U.S. national team players compared to their male counterparts. She consistently advocates for social justice issues.
What companies have Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe founded?
They have stakes in companies such as "Togethxr," a mediahouse that promotes representation and equality in women's sports. They also founded the production company "A Touch More," aiming to make visible the stories of those shaping and advancing culture.
What are some of Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe's individual achievements in sports?
Sue Bird is a 5-time Olympic champion, 4-time world champion, and 4-time WNBA champion. She holds personal records for the most All-Star appearances and assists in the WNBA. Megan Rapinoe is a two-time world champion, Olympic gold medalist, and winner of the Ballon d'Or Féminin and The Best FIFA Women's Player 2019. She was named "Sportsperson of the Year" by Sports Illustrated and received the "Presidential Medal of Freedom" from President Joe Biden.