Reign FC fans have always enjoyed Megan Rapinoe’s post-match press conferences and interviews. She’s as witty as she is thoughtful and is always going to give you a punchy soundbite to use. After her performance during the World Cup propelled her into the international spotlight, Rapinoe’s been a heavily requested guest on some of the biggest shows on TV.
Here’s a rundown of most of the interviews during her whirlwind World Cup media tour, which also included stops at the ESPY awards, where the U.S. women won Best Team, and the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, which honored Rapinoe with the Generation Change Award.
One of Rapinoe’s first conversations after winning the World Cup was with Anderson Cooper, where she talked about the platform her and her teammates have tried to build. Cooper asked Rapinoe what her message to President Trump would be. The Reign FC star looked straight at the camera and said, “Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me. You’re excluding people of color, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.”
The U.S. forward then went on the Rachel Maddow Show, her second appearance on the program. Rapinoe’s first came after the 2015 World Cup win, where she talked about why the women were fighting for equal pay. This year, Rapinoe focused on the progress that has been made in that fight. She also addressed what fans can do to support the players. “Fans can come to games. We have nine teams in the NWSL. You can go to your league games. You can support that way. You can tell your friends about it. You can become season ticket holders. I think that’s the easiest way for fans to get involved,” Rapinoe shared.
The Reign FC forward also went on Meet the Press, where she again talked about the World Cup win, the attention other federations are putting on women’s soccer, and her team’s fight for equal pay. “Our team has managed to make people proud again, capture their interest, and make them want to do something,” Rapinoe reflected when asked what made this U.S. team so inspirational.
Again, the U.S. co-captain mentioned the NWSL on Good Morning America, her first interview upon landing on U.S. soil (after plenty of well-deserved partying). She said to those watching, “Go watch your teams. Watch the national team. Watch your local club teams. I think there’s a part in this for everybody to do.”
"I think the conversation needs to move from are we worth it, should we have equal pay to what can we do now."@mPinoe@USWNT#OneNationOneTeamhttps://t.co/h1aDwGXDU8 pic.twitter.com/gTcMMHl5Z7— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 9, 2019
One of the best interviews was with the folks at Pod Save America, a 25-minute conversation about the triumphant World Cup victory, her beef with Donald Trump, and how she’s using her platform to fight for pay equity and LGBT rights. She continued her emphasis on the importance of supporting the NWSL as a way to elevate women’s soccer.
I particularly enjoyed Rapinoe’s reflection on why she chose to kneel in support of Colin Kaepernick, the message she was trying to advance in doing so, and how it reflected her patriotism and love for the country. Rapinoe also dove deeper into the USWNT’s fight for equal treatment, calling out the non-compensation pieces the team is asking for.
Among the more silly and awkward conversations, Rapinoe joined her U.S. co-captain Alex Morgan on Jimmy Kimmel, who decided to create a fake White House experience for the players — stocked with 5,000 chicken nuggets.
That wasn’t Rapinoe’s only late-night appearance. She also was invited to Late Night with Seth Meyers. Again, the two discussed the “equal pay” chant after the World Cup final, the team’s fight for equal treatment, and the players’ optimism about their ability to find a resolution with U.S. Soccer.
Rapinoe also gave a shoutout to Reign FC and the NWSL at the end of her interview.
But she wasn’t done there! Rapinoe also went on the Showtime show Desus & Mero, hosted by two comedians who analyze the latest pop culture and political news. The episode will air this Thursday at 11 PM.
It’s refreshing to see how the conversation has changed for this World Cup win. In 2015, when the women were jump-starting their fight for equal pay, interviews would quickly turn into a defense of why they should get equal pay and treatment or a conversation about revenue. This time around, it’s evolved to how people can support the players.
While Megan Rapinoe got some much-deserved attention after the 2015 World Cup win, her name recognition is at an all-time high this time around. It’s awesome to see her earn so many new fans along the way, but it is equally important that we continue to listen to her message — not just elevate her as an individual celebrity.
In every conversation she’s had in the last week, Rapinoe has kept the focus on the issues: equal pay, what it means to fight for equality for all in America, and how fans can help grow the women’s game. Of course, with a few funny lines thrown in along the way, in true Pinoe fashion.
That Pinoe flair will be back on display in Tacoma on July 28, when the team hosts the Chicago Red Stars. If you don’t have tickets yet, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see Rapinoe and fellow World Cup winner Allie Long, as the match is sold out.