Book Review: One Life by Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe grew up in a Conservative family. Her dad voted for Donald Trump. She's gay and unapologetically vocal about her beliefs. She's tiny in her stature, and yet, she's fearless. Even as far as going against her family's political leanings. She's faced censure from the league in which she played, even as far as being benched by her coach. All because she decided to kneel as the Star Spangled Banner played. But still, she persisted.
She's won awards, accolades, suffered injuries and heartbreaks. But still, she persisted.
If you are expecting this memoir about how an athlete rallied to defeat everything against all odds, you would only be partly right. Because amongst everything, Rapinoe uses her platform for activism. And this book is about that. Facing censure against a league who didn't want to change the status quo, she persisted in raising awareness about the racial injustices in America. And when she's not doing that, she's rallying the women of the league to get their due. The economic inequality between professional men and women soccer players is beyond laughable. The women's team have won more games, gold medals, and championships than the men's team, and yet they only make half of what they earned.
Truthfully, I've never followed Women's Soccer until Megan made an enemy of the White House. Since then, I've been a huge follower. What I admire about her the most is that she took the time to educate herself about racial disparities before she opened her mouth. She read books, talked to people, and did her research. She learned about redlining which is a bank's way of denying mortgages to people of colour who live in a district that they deemed 'dangerous'. She also talked about how the GI bill that excludes Black vets from receiving benefits. These are just two racial issues that she's learned on her researches. She was the first white athlete to kneel in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. Honestly, what's not to love?
We never really learn about Megan Rapinoe in her memoir. She barely talked about her childhood, her twin sister. Though she was very candid about her brother's ongoing battle with addiction. Mostly, I think the main purpose of her book is to show how someone of her stature and clout could use her privilege for the good.