President Joe Biden announced Friday that soccer star and Left-wing political activist Megan Rapinoe, who famously took a knee during the playing of our national anthem, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
The honor will be presented to “individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” a press release from the White House said.
“President Biden has long said that America can be defined by one word: possibilities. These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith,” the statement continued. “They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come.”
Describing Rapinoe, the White House said the athlete “is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice, and LGBTQI+ rights.”
The 36-year-old is known for the leftist activism, including her choice to take a knee multiple times during the playing of the national anthem before soccer games. During last year’s Tokyo Olympics, for example, U.S. women’s soccer team captain Rapinoe took a knee before the game with other players to “protest racism,” though the protest was not during the anthem.
More recently, the forward made waves when she argued last month that female athletes and their parents need to suck it up over advantages biologically male transgender athletes might have over girls.
“I would also encourage everyone out there who is afraid someone’s going to have an unfair advantage over their kid to really take a step back and think what are we actually talking about here,” Rapinoe said. “We’re talking about people’s lives. I’m sorry, your kid’s high school volleyball team just isn’t that important.”
“And I think people also need to understand that sports is not the most important thing in life, right?” she added. “Life is the most important thing in life.”
Notably, iconic conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Donald Trump in 2020, shortly before Limbaugh’s passing.
“Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Trump announced.
Other notable figures to receive the award from President Biden include actor Denzel Washington, gymnast Simone Biles, the late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, and former U.S. Senator John McCain, who passed away in 2018.