Soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe is not thrilled with the efforts Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have made when it comes to fighting racism. The World Cup winner says that the world could benefit if the two superstars really weighed in on social matters.
“They could do so much if they decided to use their stupendous level of popularity to fight racism.”
“I’m not talking about wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt,” Rapinoe told L’Equipe Mag this month. “I’m talking about going deeper.”
As we all are well aware of, Rapinoe has never been afraid of voicing her opinion on race and politics.
The two international footballers — arguably the most popular athletes on the planet — have actually used their massive platforms to fight against racism and for equality. In 2018, Ronaldo stood up for a Black player who fans had hurled racial insults at, as he wrote on Instagram, “In the world and in football there always needs to be education and respect. No to racism and to any sort of insult and discrimination!!!”
Back in 2016, Messi was part of a 2016 UEFA PSA with Ronaldo and other stars denouncing racism.
While both have previously taken part in anti-racism initiatives, she believes this has been little more than a token effort.
She was asked what advice she would give to the coming generation, with Kylian Mbappe pinpointed.
“I hope he understands the impact he can have, and how this influence can prove to be formidable for himself,” she said. “He came into the world with an extraordinary gift which allows him to lead an extraordinary, very comfortable life. Perhaps he can ask himself how to establish a balance, how to inspire youth.
“I hope he understands that he can change the world, that it is not just an empty idea. Sometimes you decide for yourself to change the world, sometimes it falls on you. If you want to be the king, then be the best king you can be.”
“Lewis Hamilton’s willingness to speak out is incredible, not to mention LeBron James, as they are at the centre of colossal economic powers,” she explained, speaking of the F1 world champion and the NBA superstar.
“Naomi Osaka, who at the US Open wore masks with the names of black people killed by US police like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. In the middle of tennis the tennis world, which is so white!
“These athletes inspire me. There is like an invisible thread between us. We must not be shy.”