President Joe Biden announced on Friday that he is awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to U.S. soccer player and left-wing activist Megan Rapinoe.
The award is considered the highest honor the president can bestow upon an American civilian.
“Megan Rapinoe is an Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion,” the White House said in its announcement. “She also captains OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League.
“She is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice, and LGBTQI+ rights.”
The U.S. women’s soccer team said in a news release Friday that Biden had informed Rapinoe of her award during a June 23 phone call.
“I am humbled and truly honored to be chosen for this award by President Biden and feel as inspired and motivated as ever to continue this long history of fighting for the freedoms of all people,” Rapinoe said in a statement.
The soccer player has been vocal in her support of woke politics.
She was among the first to join former NFL player Colin Kaepernick in kneeling for the national anthem in 2016, and she is a consistent advocate for abortion.
Megan Rapinoe is not in the starting XI tonight, but does indeed still kneel on the ground. pic.twitter.com/8ad7FuULRQ
— Andrew Jerell Jones, Luke 1:37 (IG:twdbk3) (@sluggahjells) September 16, 2016
Rapinoe frequently attacked Donald Trump during his presidency, saying her anthem protests were an “F you” to him and his administration and vowing that she was “not going to the f***ing White House” if invited.
She also was a longtime critic of the compensation provided to female athletes, arguing that the American women’s national team should be paid as much as the men’s team.
At least one of her former teammates has accused Rapinoe of “bullying” other players into kneeling for the national anthem.
She isn’t the only American athlete who will receive the presidential award.
Gymnast Simone Biles is also among the 17 people whom Biden will honor.
Biden will award Steve Jobs, Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe the nation’s highest civilian honor as part of his first slate of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) July 1, 2022
The president is granting the medal to several other left-leaning public figures in addition to Rapinoe, including union leader Richard Trumka and Khizr Khan, a Gold Star father who delivered an anti-Donald Trump speech at the 2016 Democratic Convention.
Some of the other awardees aren’t as political, such as Greek Orthodox priest Father Alexander Karloutsos and actor Denzel Washington.
Posthumous awards will be given to longtime Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was first given in 1963 by then-President John F. Kennedy.
Biden will present the medals during a White House ceremony on July 7.
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