By Scott Steward Ragsdale
Megan Rapinoe’s memories of the US Women’s Team started with the Brandy Chastain and Kristine Lilly in 1999. My memories of the women’s soccer began with Mia Hamm and Michelle Ackers in 1991 and well before that with Barbara Silsbee and Kitty Herschler on the first DHS women’s soccer team in 1978.
Rapinoe’s “One Life” is about the triumph and the meaning of soccer to our women and it’s about what the women’s game means to ethos of this nation. Rapinoe can’t know how the Davis girl soccer players had to fight to become a sanctioned high school team in ‘78, but what Megan knows intuitively is that she is better, and we are better, for those struggles and successes.
“One Life” is about a loving family, peak performance and success immersed in LGBTQ and race and social justice. It’s a book about privilege recognized and applied that is Megan Anna Rapinoe, a woman in whose wake USSF presidents are fired for their discrimination and divisive presidents are unnerved by her preeminence.
Out and proud, Megan’s message is “join me,” not to become queer but to become you – and if that’s gay fine. She also asks those with celebrity to use it as a platform for justice. Along with her World Champion teammates, Megan knows that the chant “EQUAL PAY, EQUAL PAY” resounding at their fourth World Cup championship victory, had been growing long before July 2019.
Megan is not waiting for epitaphs on her gravestone and her message is that neither should you. Awarded the Golden Boot, Golden Ball, Ballon d’Or, and Sport’s Illustrated Sportsperson of the year, Rapinoe takes her space. Her space is not given, she takes it and names her price. Rapinoe’s price is honesty, integrity and the grit to lift those lives lost to racism, racism which hurts us all.
Her natural levity, inspiration and the inside game of a world class footballer are also shared in “One Life.” Megan Rapinoe would be quick to say she is where she is for the grace of the heroes all around her. I am glad this hero wrote “One Life” so we can all remember what heroes look like.
Thank you Megan Rapinoe for being just exactly who you are.
Go give Avid Reader some business and buy “One Life” by Megan Rapinoe. The 224 page book will not offend the broad minded reader (or any regular viewer of newscasts or social media) and the book speaks to the teen as well as the adult.
Scott Steward Ragsdale is a Davis resident and frequent contributor to the Vanguard.
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