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Megan Rapinoe is the first openly gay woman to pose for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue.
The U.S. Women’s Soccer midfielder and Seattle Reign FC captain posed along with her teammates Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn and Abby Dahlkemper.
“I think it’s really quite a bold statement by Sports Illustrated to be honest because it has been seen as sort of this magazine only for heterosexual males. I think so often with gay females in sports there’s this particular stereotype about it and there’s such a narrow view of what it means to be gay and be athletic. So, to kind of just blow that up and do something totally different I think is really important,” Rapinoe, who was the guest editor of the Washington Blade’s sports issue in 2014, told Sports Illustrated. “I think our view is still way too narrow of gay people in general. Stereotypes still very much persist and they are just such incomplete views of who we really are as people, so I think for that reason it’s really important to just continue to push those boundaries.”
Rapinoe has made history being featured in a publication before. She and her girlfriend WNBA player Sue Bird were the first same-sex couple to be featured in ESPN’s annual Body Issue in 2018.