Women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe thanked Colin Kaepernick for paving the way for athletic political activism in her Woman of the Year acceptance speech.
On Monday night, Glamour hosted its Women of the Year award ceremony, in which Rapinoe was honored. During her acceptance speech, Rapinoe, 34, credited Kaepernick for using his position as an NFL player to draw attention to police brutality through his national anthem protests.
“While I’m enjoying all of this unprecedented and, frankly, a little bit uncomfortable attention and personal success, in large part due to my activism off the field, Colin Kaepernick is still effectively banned from the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of known and systematic police brutality against people of color, known and systematic racial injustice, known and systematic white supremacy,” said Rapinoe.
She added, “I see no clearer example of that system being alive and well than me standing before you right now. It would be a slap in the face to Colin, and to so many other faces, not to acknowledge, and for me personally, to work relentlessly to dismantle that system that benefits some over the detriment of others, and frankly is quite literally tearing us apart in this country.”
Rapinoe claimed the reason she collects awards while Kaepernick sits unsigned from the NFL is because she is white.
“I’m not going to act like my whiteness has nothing to do with me standing before you now. I don’t want to live in that kind of world,” she said. “I don’t think that kind of world is the world that suits everybody and is going to move us forward in the direction that we need to go.”
Rapinoe caught the ire of President Trump after announcing that she would not visit the White House to celebrate the World Cup before the tournament had ended.
Along with Rapinoe, Glamour awarded actresses Charlize Theron and Yara Shahidi, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood, fashion designer Tory Burch, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, and “the women of RAICES,” a nonprofit group that worked to reunite women and children at the border in Texas.