Megan Rapinoe praises footballers Raheem Sterling, Koulibaly for fight against racism as she takes FIFA best woman player award
Rapinoe beat teammate Alex Morgan and English footballer Lucy Bronze to win the award for her six-goal show in the FIFA Women's World Cup.
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe praised and complimented Raheem Sterling for persisting in his fight against racism. Rapinoe also encouraged many leading footballers and coaches to try and use their platform as global stars to "change the world for better" as she was named The Best FIFA Women's Player of the Year on September 23. Due to her spectacular performances in the USA World Cup, Rapinoe was given the award.
She beat out her teammate Alex Morgan and England footballer Lucy Bronze. During the USA World Cup, Rapinoe received both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball for being the top scorer and the best player.
Rapinoe revealed that she had drawn inspiration from Manchester City's Sterling, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, and Iran's 'Blue Girl.' Iran's 'Blue Girl' had set herself alight and had died after she was charged with 'openly committing a sinful act by appearing in public without a hijab' when she had attempted to enter a stadium "dressed as a man" in March.
At the FIFA awards ceremony in Milan, Rapinoe said, "I was going to say some of the stories that have inspired me most this year; Raheem Sterling and Koulibaly [for] their incredible performances on the field, but the way that they've taken on the disgusting racism that they have to face this year, but probably for their whole lives."
"The young Iranian woman who eventually set herself on fire because she wasn't able to go to the game. The one out MLS player, Mr. [Collin] Martin, and the countless other female out LGBTQ players who fight so hard every day just to play the sport that they love, but be also fight the rampant homophobia that we have," she said.
She added that football can be used to actually change the world for better given how much homophobia, unequal pay, and racism goes around in it. "So that's my charge to everyone. I hope you take that to heart and just do something, do anything. We have incredible power in this room."