United States women's national team captain Megan Rapinoe has been named Sports Illustrated's 2019 Sportsperson of the Year:
The 34-year-old has enjoyed a successful year, winning the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France and also claiming the Golden Boot at the tournament with six goals and three assists.
Rapinoe also beat off competition from Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan to win the 2019 Ballon d'Or, awarded to the year's best female footballer.
Rapinoe said she was honoured to win the award after the announcement was made:
Bleacher Report's David Gardner shared Rapinoe's Sports Illustrated front page:
While Rapinoe has enjoyed a successful 2019 on the pitch, she has also been vocal in her desire to speak out on some of the modern issues affecting football such as racism, sexism and homophobia.
After winning the Ballon d'Or in December, the 34-year-old called on male superstars Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo to help join in the fight for equality in football:
She also attracted attention for saying she would refuse to go to the White House if the United States won the World Cup and encouraged her team-mates to take the same stance, per Jack Rathborn at The Independent.
The Reign FC captain has also shown support for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest against racial and social injustice in 2016 by refusing to kneel for the United States national anthem:
The forward has said she can use her profile to try and affect change in the world:
Rapinoe is just the fourth woman to be named SI's 2019 Sportsperson of the Year unaccompanied and follows in the footsteps of Chris Evert, Mary Decker and Serena Williams.