In case you needed another reason to stan Megan Rapinoe, purple-haired lesbian goddess and world champion athlete who flattened France’s women’s soccer team like a crepe, we’ve got one: The out footballer was just named the Best FIFA Woman’s Player for 2019.
The U.S. Woman’s National Team co-captain and outspoken advocate for equal pay for women athletes scored the prestigious honor at this year’s Best FIFA Football Awards in Milan, Italy. It’s the latest in a series of huge wins for Rapinoe, who helped lead her teammates to victory at the 2019 Women’s FIFA World Cup.
Rapinoe also broke ground in a May 2019 photoshoot for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, in which the toned heartthrob became the first openly gay woman to pose for the magazine’s iconic annual feature.
True to form, the 34-year-old soccer player gave a rousing acceptance speech after winning the top honor. “This was an incredible year for women’s football,” Rapinoe told the audience. “For those of you who are just realizing that now, it’s okay. You’re a little late to the party. We’ll forgive you. We’re just getting started.”
She also saluted other marginalized athletes who inspire her, including the “one out [male] Major League Soccer player and the countless other female LGBTQ players, who fight so hard every day to a) just play the sport that they love, but b) also to fight the rampant homophobia that we have.”
— FIFA Women's World Cup (@FIFAWWC) September 23, 2019
“Those stories inspire me very much,” she added, “but they also make me a little sad, and a little disappointed. If we really want to have meaningful change, what I think is most inspiring is… if everyone were as outraged about racism as [players of color], if everyone were as outraged about homophobia as LGBTQ players, if everyone were as outraged about equal pay and invested in the women’s game other than just women.”
Watch Rapinoe’s full acceptance speech from FIFA’s Facebook page below.