But Rapinoe has decided to pull off another landmark in women’s soccer: to come out and publicly discuss her sexuality.
“I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” she says. “I feel everyone is really craving [for] people to come out. People want — they need — to see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol’ U.S. of A.”
Not that Rapinoe has been hiding anything; it’s just that no one ever asked her directly. “I think they were trying to be respectful and that it’s my job to say, ‘I’m gay.’ Which I am. For the record: I am gay,” she says. In fact, Rapinoe’s been dating her girlfriend, an Australian soccer player, for three years, and even brought her home to visit her family in Northern California last Christmas.