Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe

The out lesbian soccer star also updates us on her injury and the upcoming Olympics.

Megan Rapinoe already has an impressive resume. She’s one of the most popular members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, a player for FC Seattle Reign in the NWSL, an Olympic gold medalist, a World Cup Champion, a proud advocate of LGBT rights, a clothing designer, and even a writer. Now, she can add a global ambassador to the growing list.

Rapinoe was recently introduced by streetfootballworld, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enacting social and global change through the game of soccer, as their newest global ambassador. It’s an honour she’s excited about.

“Streetfootballworld is awesome,” Rapinoe swooned. “My involvement is to help bring eyeballs to this organization that does such great work. So many grassroots movements are going on, and streetfootballworld helps bring them all together. It serves as a tool and a resource, and helps empower them.”

In her new role, Rapinoe gets to use the sport she loves as a vehicle for social advocacy and equality. Streetfootballworld’s primary goal is to drive social change through positive influence and focusing on the environment, youth leadership, health, gender equality, peacebuilding, social integration, education and equal employment opportunity.

“I’m hoping my association and likeness will help bring attention to their brand,” she explained. “The ultimate dream for me in partnering with streetfootballworld, is to bring the knowledge that my sister and I have to run a clinic or a series of clinics here in the U.S. and abroad. I think it would be incredible for us to use our brand and soccer/football to effect positive and lasting change in the world.”

Since the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany, Rapinoe feels like the USWNT is at a whole other level. Their microphones are louder, and their platform is a little taller.

“It’s been incredible to see the evolution of our team, the impact we’ve had socially, and the success we’ve had on the field,” she said. “There’s such a large platform that we’ve been able to secure and use our voices for a lot of different topics. I’ve tried to take advantage of that. It’s kind of surreal in that sense.”

Rapinoe’s new role with streetfootballworld is just another addition to her packed schedule. Since tearing her ACL in the spring, Rapinoe has had more time to concentrate on off-the-field projects and endeavors while rehabbing her injury. But the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio are only a couple of weeks away, and she is eager to get back to the pitch.

“I’m pretty close to being back. I have my eye on Rio, and there’s a possibility. If I’m ready, I’ll be thrilled to go. But I’m also at peace if I don’t make it because it’s okay. After all, all my eggs aren’t in that one basket.”