Ballon d’Or winner Megan Rapinoe asked Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to speak up against racism, which has plagued football in recent times. Many recent incidences have re-ignited demands for strict action against any act of racism and sexism in football. Megan Rapinoe won the Ballon d’Or award for 2019 for her phenomenal performance with the USA football team.
While speaking to France Football, Megan Rapinoe asked Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to help her fight against racism. The 34-year-old feels that Ronaldo, Messi and Ibrahimovic are global superstars with mass appeal but they are not vocal about the issues that plague professional football. She questioned if these stars were afraid of losing anything if they spoke up and affirmed that no one could banish Messi or Ronaldo from the footballing world if they spoke out against racism or sexism.
Lionel Messi is not very active when it comes to taking stands for off-field issues. But, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic have spoken frequently about certain issues. However, Ibrahimovic landed in trouble for a comment he made way back in 2013. While speaking to ESPN, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had commented that men’s and women’s football cannot be compared and asked those campaigning for equality in the game to give up.
Megan Rapinoe further added that this Ballon d'Or win was a reward for her on-field as well as off-field work. On one hand, she was rewarded for being the best female footballer and on the other, she has also been involved in off the field issues.
Megan Rapinoe was instrumental in USA’s World Cup win in 2018. She was the top scorer in the tournament with six goals. She also won the Golden Boot for her performance.