On Wednesday, US women's national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe played 87 minutes for Seattle Reign FC in a 2-1 victory over the Boston Breakers at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. That same day, the US Supreme Court struck down by a 5-4 vote a section of the Defense of Marriage Act which stated that the Federal Government's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.
For Rapinoe, who came out as lesbian last July, the ruling is "brilliant."
"I think it was a happy day for a lot of people and a positive step forward to throw things out like that that are just outrageous. It's 2013. It wasn't a sweeping decision but it will set precedents for the courts."
Few people who don't follow the US women's team and Rapinoe are aware of her decision to come out. She did so in an interview with Out, an LGBT magazine, right before the London Olympic Games.
But when LA Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers came out via the internet in February, the entire sports community was abuzz. Being openly gay in sports has a bigger spotlight for men than it does for women. That's partly because the five major sports leagues in America are male. According to Rapinoe, it's also because it's a more sensitive reality for the men's sporting community.
"For the most part, female athletes that are gay don't have to hide it, the rest of their lives they're pretty out," explained Rapinoe. "For men it's their entire life. Maybe a few people know on the team or maybe it's something that's quietly whispered about. It's sort of a whole life shock for everybody and the sport in general."
Rapinoe is a major role model for members of society struggling to come out, especially athletes. But Rapinoe tips her hat Rogers too, as he has become an activist for gay rights. On Thursday, he attended a rally in Hollywood that celebrated the end of California's Proposition 8. His decision to come out also reportedly contributed in Jason Collins, a member of NBA's Washington Wizards, and his decision to come out.
In April, Collins became the first openly gay player actively playing in one of America's major sports leagues. Rogers followed suit in May, becoming the first openly gay soccer player actively playing soccer.
"I haven't talked to him personally but I obviously follow him," added Rapinoe. "I'm so happy for him and excited that he came out. He didn't just come out and leave it. He's really taking a stand and becoming an activist in that way and a role model."
FIFA, soccer's international governing body, attempts to fight against racism, sexism, and homophobia. It's been an uphill battle, but Rapinoe, who has represented the US around the globe and even played for France's Olympique Lyonnais this winter, says major progress is being made.
"Maybe I'm just blind to the negative but I think it's been positive," finished Rapinoe. "People are happy about it and feel it needs to happen. People against it are in the minority and much more in the minority now."
Confederations Cup Final Set
Italy couldn't do what the US did to Spain four years ago, which was knock them out of the Confederations Cup in the semifinals. After going scoreless through regulation and then two 15-minute periods of extra time, 13 penalties were needed to find a winner.
Neither Spain's Iker Casillas nor Italy's Gianluigi Buffon made a save as 11 consecutive spot kicks found the back of the net. But Spain's Jesus Navas converted the decisive strike right after Italy's Leonardo Bonucci shot high on his attempt.
Brazil won the other semifinal, beating Uruguay 2-1. Brazil and Spain will square off in the final on Sunday. The Confederations Cup is the only major trophy the Spanish have yet to win. Uruguay and Italy will play for third on Sunday as well.
Tevez completes move to Juventus
Argentina striker Carlos Tevez signed for reigning Italian Serie A Champions Juventus on Wednesday, completing a £12 million deal from Manchester City. Tevez, who has scored in two World Cups, will wear number 10. Juventus will also add Spanish striker Fernando Llorente. Juventus will likely have to cut ties with at least one of their forwards; their robust list includes Sebastian Giovinco, Nicolas Anelka, Fabio Quagliarella, Nicklas Bendtner, Alessandro Matri, and Mirko Vucinic.
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