Soccer Champ Megan Rapinoe Endorses Police Reformer George Gascón for LA District Attorney

By Abigail Swallow

LOS ANGELES – World Champion soccer player and political activist, Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Women’s National Team, announced today that she endorses George Gascón’s campaign for Los Angeles County District Attorney, citing his goals of a more equitable justice system as a primary reason for the endorsement.

In 2019, Gascón announced his campaign for Los Angeles County District Attorney, and after incumbent DA Jackie Lacy failed to garner over 50 percent of the vote this March, it set up a runoff race against Gascón in November. The winner in November will take the LA County DA seat.

Gascón, an immigrant and veteran, has a unique history of work for the Los Angeles Police Dept. and San Francisco DA, where he was chief prosecutor, filling the prior seat of Senator Kamala Harris. Prior to his time as San Francisco DA, he was a police chief in both San Francisco and Mesa, Arizona.

As the DA for San Francisco Gascón advocated for the end of monetary bail as well as the retroactive decriminalization of marijuana cases through the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Gascón’s time as a DA in San Francisco earned him a reputation of being an advocate for criminal justice reform.

It comes as no surprise that Megan Rapinoe has decided to offer an endorsement of Gascón. Rapinoe came into the public eye in 2016 when she chose to kneel for the national anthem in solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

Since 2016, Rapinoe has been an involved activist in issues ranging from criminal justice reform to LGBT+ rights. As a native of California, Rapinoe is active in local and state politics.

Rapinoe, whose social media following has grown rapidly since the team’s World Championship win in 2019, has recently been using her platform to advocate for causes related to social justice and the police reform movement.

In the past month, Rapinoe joined live stream conversations with Black and queer activists fighting for police reform and the Black Lives Matter movement. At 2.2 million followers on Instagram (as of July 7, 2020), Rapinoe’s influence is considered very strong and expected to influence voters in Gascón’s upcoming runoff election.

“George Gascón has been a longtime advocate and proven leader in criminal justice reform. I’m inspired by his vision of a legal system that serves all Angelenos and moved by his record of implementing ground-breaking reforms to reduce racial disparities in the system,” said Rapinoe.

“As our nation continues to reckon with institutionalized racism, especially the impact of the criminal justice system, I know that George will bring much-needed change to Los Angeles county in pursuit of a more just system,” added Rapinoe.

Gascón is running on a platform almost entirely focused on criminal justice reform. Some of his main policy focuses listed on his campaign website include addressing police violence, eliminating the death penalty in California, and ending the use of monetary bail. His goal for the justice system is to “modernize it,” he maintains.

With years of experience, Gascón may be qualified to do just that, according to political pundits. However, when he was San Francisco DA, he successfully pushed for police accountability—but received criticism when he failed to charge police in fatal shooting incidents.

Despite that, Gascón’s focus on reforming the criminal justice system has garnered an endorsement from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, as well as prominent politicians and justice reform advocates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who ran on a similar platform to Gascón before taking the seat in 2019, also endorses Gascón.

Rapinoe joins other celebrities in endorsing Gascón, such as actress Patricia Arquette and musician John Legend.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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    1. Eric Gelber

      Megan Rapinoe has used her fame to promote numerous social causes, including criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights, etc. I’m wondering if you’d be making the same sarcastic, condescending comment if this were a male athlete (Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, LeBron James, etc.). Yeah, probably.

      1. Keith Olsen

         I’m wondering if you’d be making the same sarcastic, condescending comment if this were a male athlete (Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, LeBron James, etc.). Yeah, probably.

        No probably about it.  Definitely!

        I think the Vanguard lowers itself running stories like this about who athletes or performers endorse.

        1. David Greenwald

          You’re entitled to your opinion.  I’ll bet you can count the number of times we have done it on less than one hand and I had my reasons for doing so here.

        2. Bill Marshall

          KO… Eric gives a big clue as to why David might have highlighted the athlete… a two-fer… supporting not only the candidate but the endorser… playing to an audience?

          1. David Greenwald

            My daughter is a huge Rapinoe fan. The interns were fighting over who got to write this article. Maybe you guys should be a bit more understanding of what’s it like right now.

        3. Bill Marshall

          Actually (since I was cut off w/ 3 minutes left from editing), Eric provided two clues…

          And he (David) is entitled to his opinions, and his playing to his audiences…

        4. Keith Olsen

          I’m wondering if you’d be making the same sarcastic, condescending comment if this were a male athlete (Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, LeBron James, etc.).

          I would really be making a condescending comment if it were Muhammad Ali or Jackie Robinson because they’re dead.

    1. David Greenwald

      I know you are trying to be a smart guy Alan, but you know Kim Kardashian has become a big player in the innocent movement – and also that her father was on OJ Simpson’s defense team.  I’d be shocked if she hadn’t endorsed Gascon.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Yes… and Kim Kardashian, her father, and OJ are all “innocents”… makes sense they’d be part of the ‘innocent movement’…

        Particularly OJ… obviously innocent of murder… jury told us so…

        Wise comparison, David. Thx…

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