Megan Rapinoe Announced as SI's 2019 Sportsperson of the Year

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 9, 2019

LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates scoring the first goal from the penalty spot during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United State of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 07, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

United States women's national team captain Megan Rapinoe has been named Sports Illustrated's 2019 Sportsperson of the Year:

Sports Illustrated @SInow

Presenting SI’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year: Megan Rapinoe 👏 She owned the biggest moment of her life and silenced all the doubters, all while becoming a voice for so many across the world https://t.co/Djg6rbAqj3

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:

Megan Rapinoe @mPinoe

Honored to win @SInow #Sportsperson of the Year! I couldn’t have done it without the fans. This award is for all of you. #VWAmbassador #DriveBigger @vw https://t.co/nLAQe0OklP

Bleacher Report's David Gardner shared Rapinoe's Sports Illustrated front page:

David Gardner @byDavidGardner

SI’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year is Megan Rapinoe, and her cover is pretty terrific https://t.co/qldWuX70qT https://t.co/ZKWOd0Mh2X

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:


Megan Rapinoe calls for help from Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan ✊ https://t.co/73rPRKOEoj

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:

Ryan Saavedra @RealSaavedra

Megan Rapinoe says that she “had this immense sense of pride and responsibility” by kneeling during the national anthem https://t.co/Q8zGUF05GJ

The forward has said she can use her profile to try and affect change in the world:

Sports Illustrated @SInow

"I'm more than an athlete, I'm more than just Megan Rapinoe the soccer player." 2019 Sportsperson of the Year, @mPinoe isn't afraid to use her platform as a vehicle for change and progress 🙌 Presented by @Symetra https://t.co/fBWJULAWfU

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.