Megan Rapinoe, well known as the captain of the United States Women’s National Team and helped to lead the team to their most recent World Cup championship in 2017 is appearing in the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She is appearing along with fellow professional soccer players and teammates Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, and Abby Dahlkemper.

Sports Illustrated has quite a strong history of advocating for gay and lesbian athletes and Rapinoe hopes that her appearance in the magazine will inspire meaningful conversation and break down stereotypes about gay and lesbian people.

“I think it’s really quite a bold statement by Sports Illustrated to be honest because it has been seen as sort of this magazine only for heterosexual males,” Megan said. “I think so often with gay females in sports there’s this particular stereotype about it and there’s such a narrow view of what it means to be gay and be athletic. So, to kind of just blow that up and and do something totally different I think is really important.”

“I think our view is still way too narrow of gay people in general” Megan added. “Stereotypes still very much persist and they are just such incomplete views of who we really are as people, so I think for that reason it’s really important to just continue to push those boundaries.”

Rapinoe came out in 2012 with Out Magazine and has been a strong advocate for the LGBTQI community. She also appeared in ESPN’s The Body Issue with her girlfriend and WNBA player Sue Bird.

By Dirk Smith