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What the Latest Megan Rapinoe Interview Tells Us

Megan Rapinoe and fellow members of the U.S. women’s soccer team celebrate during a ceremony in New York City, July 10, 2019. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Meagan Rapinoe, the captain of the U.S. Women’s soccer team, told the Guardian last Saturday that she thinks her dad voted for Trump, revealing a staunch divide between her and her parent’s views on the president.

“I feel like I grew up with all of these lessons [about equality], but nothing was ever spoken. No language was ever put around it. Both of my parents should really be progressive — especially my mom — and I don’t get that they’re not. I’m always saying: ‘You guys should really be Democrats! But they’re not, so what’s happening?”

In her interview, Rapinoe describes growing up in a conservative area of California, where her dad runs a construction company. Praising her mother, who grew up with alcoholic parents, Rapinoe said: “Her parents died when she was younger than I am, she raised her younger sister and she has family into drugs. She has extreme mental fortitude and toughness about her, while wearing it all lightly.”

Rapinoe said she first came out as gay while she was a student at the University of Portland in Oregon, and her parents’ immediate responses were: “What are people going to say?” and “We don’t want things to be harder for you.”

Years later, Rapinoe says, she didn’t struggle to come out, and that her parents gradually came to accept her sexuality, while apparently still holding on to rest of their conservative views.

“I’m very similar to how [my parents] are, even though I think my dad voted for Trump,” she said. “I’ll say, ‘I don’t get it. How are you simultaneously as proud as punch of me, and watching Fox News all the time, [who are doing] takedowns of your daughter?”

“That’s why I’m like: ‘You guys need to go to therapy,” she added.

But the mainstream conservative critique on Rapinoe hasn’t been against her sexuality — an issue on which the conservative focus has dissipated since Obergefell. Instead, most criticisms of Rapinoe center on her character, which seems to be cover for some deeply rooted self-image issues.

Emma Brockes, who conducted the interview, lavishes in this behavior, observing: “At last month’s victory parade, she kissed the trophy and yelled: I deserve this! And for a moment, conventions governing women’s conduct in public seemed thrillingly, shockingly to change.” Humility is what naturally endears us to one another, not arrogance. But it’s no surprise that the Left, which relishes breaking taboos, has seized on yet another vice. And the fact that Rapinoe is so unabashedly self-aggrandizing has to make one wonder if she’s truly happy with herself.

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