U.S. soccer star Rapinoe discusses pay equality, Trump, critics at OSU event

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One of soccer’s biggest names was on The Ohio State University campus Sunday night.

Megan Rapinoe is a star on the U.S. Women’s National Team and she takes her fame off the field very seriously.

Rapinoe is outspoken about several issues important to her ranging from equal pay for the U.S. Women’s National Team, to LGBTQ rights, to racism and more. During the conversation, she was asked about deciding to kneel during the National Anthem, President Trump, who she was quick to criticize, and if she listens to prominent conservative critics. 

She talked about those topics during a question and answer session at OSU.

“We are a wonderful country but we can be better,” Rapinoe said

The crowd for the event was full of Rapinoe fans, people who appreciate what she does on and off the field.

Many know Rapinoe for her work on the soccer field. Just this past summer, she scored what was the game-winning goal in the World Cup Final.

Many also know about her work off the field.

“She’s gained a lot of fame from on the field, but I think she’s used that to gain a lot of fame off the field,” said OSU student Sabrina Veliev.

Sunday’s event was sold out. The line to get in the door was full of students more than an hour before the talk was scheduled to begin, some wearing their Rapinoe jerseys.

Others, like Veliev, wearing a shirt with “Megan Rapinoe is my spirit animal” emblazoned on it.

“It’s really cool how she uses her platform of fame to not only promote good but do good for everyone in the world, not just use it for herself,” Veliev said.

Rapinoe was asked about a number of topics including kneeling during the National Anthem, President Trump, who she was quick to criticize, and if she listens to well-known critics. She’s been an outspoken advocate for equal pay for the Women’s National Soccer Team. Though the moderator of the discussion did not expressly ask her about the topic, she did bring it up a few times.

“She just captures attention so well and it’s awesome because of what she speaks up about,” said OSU student Jessie Hartman. “And I just love what she stands for.”

To the ballroom full of students, Rapinoe also talked about and stressed to the crowd that even without fame, you can still help.

“She doesn’t build herself up with the fame that she’s getting and the things she’s talking about, but she really points it out to make the world a better place,” Hartman said.

Before Sunday, Rapinoe had been asked if she has any plans to run for political office. She was asked that again at the event, answering she’s not going to rule anything out, but said not anytime soon, it’s not something she’s interested in right now.

The Ohio Union Activities Board at OSU made the decision to bring Rapinoe to campus.

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