August 13, 2022

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Soccer star Megan Rapinoe receives Presidential Medal of

President Joe Biden on Thursday awarded the American soccer star Megan Rapinoe the Presidential Medal of Independence, the nation’s greatest civilian honor.

Rapinoe was among 17 recipients, alongside with gymnast and fellow Olympian Simone Biles, the Academy Award-successful actor Denzel Washington and Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who died in 2018.

Rapinoe is the first soccer player to obtain the award and one of just 6 woman athletes or coaches.

“Outside of the Globe Cup title to Olympic medals, Megan is a winner for critical American truth that every person is entitled to be dealt with with dignity and regard,” Biden claimed at the award ceremony at the White Home. “She aided lead the change for most likely the most important victory for anyone on our soccer workforce or any soccer team: equivalent spend for women.”

Rapinoe has been a member of the U.S. Women’s National Group because 2006 and has assisted the staff win two Olympic medals and two Globe Cup championships.Off the industry, she has produced a name for herself for her contribution to LGBTQ equality and equality in women’s sporting activities.

President Joe Biden awards the nation’s best civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Liberty, to Megan Rapinoe at the White Home on Thursday. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In 2016, Rapinoe and four other U.S. Women’s National Group gamers submitted an Equal Work Chance Fee grievance against the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging gender discrimination. Then in 2019, 28 members of the team, such as Rapinoe, filed a similar lawsuit, citing yrs of gender discrimination in pay, healthcare treatment method and total workload.

The team of five gamers attained a settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation in February, obtaining $24 million and securing an settlement from the federation to spend adult males and females similarly in all exhibition games, or friendlies, and tournaments.

“For us, this is just a enormous earn in making certain that we not only correct the wrongs of the earlier, but established the following technology up for anything we only dreamed of,” Rapinoe told NBC’s “TODAY” clearly show soon after the settlement was attained.

In May, U.S. Soccer introduced a collective bargaining agreement with the women’s and men’s nationwide teams to near the gender pay out gap.

Rapinoe is the newest overtly LGBTQ American to obtain the Presidential Medal of Liberty, pursuing comic Ellen DeGeneres, gay legal rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, and playwright Tennessee Williams.

“I am humbled and definitely honored to be preferred for this award by President Biden and really feel as motivated and inspired as ever to go on this very long record of fighting for the freedoms of all men and women,” Rapinoe said in a statement soon after becoming named a medal recipient very last thirty day period. “To quotation Emma Lazarus, ‘Until we are all free of charge, we are none of us free.’”

The Presidential Medal of Liberty was established by the Truman administration in 1945 to commemorate civilian initiatives through Earth War II. But in 1963, President John F. Kennedy revived the tradition, honoring leading figures in American tradition and innovation.

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