Megan Rapinoe in a match against Mexico on May 26. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images
Sports Illustrated on Monday named soccer star Megan Rapinoe as its 2019 Sportsperson of the Year for her part in the United States' World Cup win and for "being a vocal activist for equality."
The big picture: Rapinoe, now the fourth woman to win the award unaccompanied, became a household name after her breakout performance in the World Cup. She also gained significant media attention after President Trump criticized her for refusing to visit the White House if the U.S. won the tournament.
- After scoring a goal in the World Cup quarterfinal against France, Rapinoe struck a pose with her arms outstretched, leading to what quickly became one of the most viral photos and moments of the cup run.
Off the pitch, Rapinoe and her teammates have been celebrated as activists for the equal pay movement with their lawsuit against U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination.