Rapinoe criticizes Sports Illustrated for lack of diversity while accepting its award

U.S. women's national soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe criticized Sports Illustrated on Monday for its lack of diversity while accepting an award from the magazine.

Sports Illustrated named Rapinoe "Sportsperson of the Year" on Monday for becoming "a voice for so many across the world."

"While we don't get to chose what it is that we witness, we are the gatekeepers of those stories, and we do get to decide how we bear witness to the world around us and to the truth that we see. Is it true that I am the fourth woman deserving of this award? I don't think so," Rapinoe said while accepting her award at a gala celebration in Manhattan’s Ziegfeld Ballroom."Is it true that so few writers of color deserve to be featured in this publication? No. Is it true that so few women's voices deserve to be heard and deserve to be read in this publication? I don't think so."

The remarks earned the 2019 Best FIFA Women's player recipient cheers from the audience.

Sports Illustrated did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.


Rapinoe garnered national attention when she knelt during the national anthem in solidarity with NFL player Colin Kaepernick in 2016. She has also used her name recognition to speak publicly on topics such as LGBTQ rights, equal pay and criticism of President Trump.

"I don’t understand the [idea] that it’s un-American to criticize your country," Rapinoe said in her interview with Sports Illustrated. "That’s what an open democracy is about — civil discourse and being able to protest. Clearly, we are not perfect. Until we address the problems we have, it is not going to be better."

The Golden Boot and Golden Ball award winner made headlines when she dropped the "f-bomb," the four-letter expletive, while describing how she felt about a possible visit to the White House after a potential World Cup win.

"I’m not going to the [expletive] White House," Rapinoe said in a June interview with Eight by Eight magazine.

Trump responded to Rapinoe's comment on Twitter by posting that the women's national team player "should never disrespect our country, the White House or our flag."


"I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!" Trump wrote in part.