Megan Rapinoe receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Olympic champion and gender equity advocate was among 17 recipients of the nation’s highest civilian honor.

President Joe Biden on Thursday awarded the American soccer star Megan Rapinoe the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Rapinoe is the first soccer player to receive the award and one of just six female athletes or coaches.

“Beyond the World Cup title to Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for essential American truth that everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect,”

“She helped lead the change for perhaps the most important victory for anyone on our soccer team or any soccer team: equal pay for women.”

Biden said at the award ceremony at the White House.

Rapinoe has been a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2006 and has helped the team win two Olympic medals and two World Cup championships.Off the field, she has made a name for herself for her contribution to LGBTQ equality and equality in women’s sports.

In 2016, Rapinoe and four other U.S. Women’s National Team players filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging gender discrimination.

Then in 2019, 28 members of the team, including Rapinoe, filed a similar lawsuit, citing years of gender discrimination in pay, medical treatment and overall workload.

The group of five players reached a settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation in February, receiving $24 million and securing an agreement from the federation to pay men and women equally in all exhibition games, or friendlies, and tournaments.

Source: NBC News

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