One Life by Megan Rapinoe
Football (soccer) fans; people who like awesome people.
In a nutshell:
One of the world’s best professional footballers shares her story of growing up, becoming a star, and speaking out about things that matter.
“In a country of 330 million people, only 23 women get to make a living the way we do, and you need to be a gladiator just to get on the team.”
Why I chose it:
I love football. I am a US Women’s National Team and Reign supporter. Pinoe is one of my favorite players. Like, this book was always something I was going to read.
I love soccer. I play it competitively in a grassroots league here in England, and I watch it. The NWSL team I support is the Reign, where Rapinoe plays. I’ve been in the stands as the US Women’s National Team won two world cups (in 2015 in Canada, and last year in France). I’m not a fan who can spout off stats, but I am a fan who loves watching the game.
Even people in the US who don’t follow soccer have probably heard of Megan Rapinoe. In last years’ World Cup, she won the award from most goals, as well as player of the tournament. But before that, people may remember her as being one of the first athletes to kneel in solidarity with the protests that Colin Kaepernick started, during the US national anthem. She is outspoken, and has taken to using the platform she has to promote other voices.
The book is a quick, easy read. She shares some insight into her time on the US team, but also her time growing up. Her childhood is surprisingly normal in many ways, and she’s relatable. She’s honest about where she has to improve and clear about where she excels – not just in soccer, but in life. She’s also inspiring as hell, being one of the first out professional female athletes. She’s helped lead the way for pay parity for women in the lawsuit against US soccer that she and four teammates filed. I remember being in the stands last year, as the US women won, and we all started chanting ‘Equal Pay.’ Shitty that such chants are still needed, but amazing that more people are recognizing the absurdity of pay inequality across gender and race these days.
The theme that runs through the aptly named book is basically that we all just have this life. What are we really doing with it? Are we speaking out in defense of our beliefs? In support of others? Are we doing what we think is right? After reading this, I feel reinvigorated. The writing is fun and feels free and open. I’m sure she held some things back, but it didn’t read like that. It read like a cool person telling some cool stories.
Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it: