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One Life

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe, Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women's World Cup champion, has become a galvanizing force for social change; here, she urges all of us to take up the mantle, with actions big and small, to continue the fight for justice and equality.

Raised in a conservative small town in Northern California, the youngest of six, Megan Rapinoe was four years old when she kicked her first soccer ball. Her parents encouraged her love for the game, but taught her that winning was much less important than how she lived her life. From childhood on, Rapinoe always did what she could to stand up for what was right—even if it meant going up against people who disagreed.

In One Life, Rapinoe reflects on the choices she has made, her victories and her failures, and embarks on a thoughtful and candid discussion of her personal journey into social justice. After the 2011 World Cup, discouraged by how few athletes were willing to discuss their sexuality, Rapinoe decided to come out publicly as gay and use her platform to advocate for marriage equality. Recognizing the power she had to bring attention to critical issues, in 2016 she took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick to protest racial injustice and police brutality—the first high-profile white athlete to do so. The backlash was immediate, but it couldn’t compare to the overwhelming support. Rapinoe became a force of change, both on and off the field.

Using anecdotes from her own life and career as an Olympic gold medalist and two-time women’s World Cup champion, from suing the US Soccer Federation over gender discrimination to her widely publicized refusal to visit the White House, Rapinoe discusses the obligation we all have to speak up, and the impact each of us can have on our communities. Deeply personal and inspiring, One Life reveals that real, concrete change lies within all of us, and asks: If we all have the same resource—this one precious life, made up of the decisions we make every day—what are you going to do?

Listen to the audiobook introduction, read by the author

Author photo

Photo: © Wasserman - Athlete Exchange

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe is an American professional soccer player. As a member of the US Women's national soccer team, she helped win the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments and a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. A co-captain of the team since 2018, she was named the Best FIFA Women's Player in 2019, and was awarded the Golden Boot.

Read an Excerpt

STAND UP 

I was on the team bus driving through the suburbs of Chicago when I picked up a call from my agent. It was September 2016, and my team, FC Seattle Reign, had just played the Chicago Red Stars in one of the last games of the season. That wasn’t why my agent was calling. Dan Levy had represented me for almost ten years and we’d been through a few things together. Five years earlier, he’d been a big part of the discussion around my decision to come out as the first, and for a long time practically the only, gay player on the US Women’s National Team—which is hilarious given the number of gays on the team—and he’d seen me through injuries and disappointments without losing his cool. Now he sounded concerned. “This is blowing up,” he said. The actual game that night had been nothing special. Chicago, like New York and Los Angeles, isn’t a soccer town, for reasons no one can quite put their finger on. You might get people out for a national team game, but no way are they turning up on a random Sunday night in September for a league match. We’d played to...

Excerpted from One Life by Megan Rapinoe, Emma Brockes. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.