Rapinoe: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo should fight against racism

  • Kat Lucas

Megan Rapinoe has reiterated her challenge to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to do more in football's fight against racism. 

Back in October, the World Cup winner suggested the duo should be using their platforms to greater effect. 

Rapinoe has since remained at the forefront of the battle for equal pay, recently speaking out in front of President Biden at the White House. 

Nevertheless, the USWNT star insists it is the responsibility of all high-profile players to confront all forms of social inequality. 

Rapinoe told RMC, via Marca

"It is not just black players who have to talk about racism, not only gay players who have to talk about homophobia, not only women who have to talk about pay inequality. We are all responsible, we must use our own voice to stop discrimination, to stop those we face.

"It really is not up to the people who are already oppressed to make sure they shut down a system they are going through. This is not how there will be real social change. We know there must be everyone's collaboration. We saw that in the United States."

The 35-year-old also singled out Manchester United's Marcus Rashford for his activism against food poverty - but that was where her praise for the biggest names in men's football ended. 

"I think Rashford and the others in England and elsewhere have done amazing things," she added.


"...When you see the commitment of certain athletes, like Serena Williams and LeBron James here in the United States. It is important that people listen to Rashford, [Lionel] Messi, or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Antoine] Griezmann... It is important to understand that always they will be seen as global models.

"As people listen, use this platform for good. You saw what Rashford did in his country, it had an incredible impact, especially during the pandemic. That doesn't mean that you have to talk about all the problems all the time. Find something that you are passionate about, use your power and influence because you can really make a big impact as a great soccer player."

While Rapinoe's remarks to the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and Griezmann were less pointed this time around, they were still a thinly-veiled dig at them for not speaking out about racism.

Clubs could soon be taking action into their own hands, with the Daily Mail reporting that Premier League and EFL clubs could join a 'blanket boycott' of social media to protest against a spate of racial abuse incidents on Twitter and Instagram this season. 

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