30 October 2020

US soccer star Megan Rapinoe urges Messi and Ronaldo to do more to fight racism

 US soccer captain Megan Rapinoe has encouraged Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to use their ‘stupendous level of popularity’ to help the fight against racism.

Rapinoe, who was speaking ahead of her autobiography being released, also gave Kylian Mbappe advice on how he can capitlise on his platform.

She told L’Equipe Mag: “They [Messi and Ronaldo] could do so much if they decided to use their stupendous level of popularity to fight racism, for example. I’m not talking about wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, I’m talking about going deeper.

“I hope he [Mbappe] understands the impact he can have, and how this influence can prove to be formidable for himself. He came into the world with an extraordinary gift which allows him to lead an extraordinary, very comfortable life. Perhaps he can ask himself how to establish a balance, how to inspire youth.

“I hope he understands that he can change the world, that it is not just an empty idea. Sometimes you decide for yourself to change the world, sometimes it falls on you. If you want to be the king, then be the best king you can be.”

She then praised tennis star Naomi Osaka and motorsport’s Lewis Hamilton for their recent actions.

“Lewis Hamilton's willingness to speak out is incredible, not to mention LeBron James, as they are at the centre of colossal economic powers.

“Naomi Osaka, who at the US Open wore masks with the names of black people killed by US police like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. In the middle of the tennis world, which is so white! These athletes inspire me. There is like an invisible thread between us. We must not be shy.”

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