U.S. Women’s National Soccer team star Megan Rapinoe gave impassioned comments on abortion rights on Friday, including calling out men who have been “silent” on the issue.
“I wish that we could just talk about soccer today,” Rapinoe told reporters the day before the U.S. team’s friendly match against Colombia. “But obviously with the ruling on Roe v. Wade today, that takes precedence over everything.”
She added that it was “hard to put into words” how upset she and her teammates were over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark ruling that protected abortion rights in the United States.
Rapinoe, who is engaged to WNBA star Sue Bird, is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ and women’s rights.
“Obviously, you can understand, from an individual perspective, how difficult it is to live in a country where you have a constant, unrelenting, violent tide against you, an onslaught, as a woman … as a gay person, and as a non-binary person, as a trans person, whoever this is going to affect, because it affects a lot more than just women, or cis women,” she said.
At one point, Rapinoe specifically addressed men who have failed to speak up about abortion rights.
“You’ve been silent to us, as a whole,” she said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Stand up, say something. This is your wife, this is your sister, this is your friend, this is your girlfriend, this is the mother of your children. This is all of us. And you are allowing a violent and consistent onslaught on the autonomy of women’s bodies, on women’s rights, on women’s minds, on our hearts, on our souls.”
She added that she encouraged people to “try to understand the intersectionality” of how the ruling would affect people, noting that she is a “cisgendered, rich white women” who has protections many people do not.
“We know that this will disproportionately affect poor women, Black women, brown women, immigrants, women in abusive relationships, women who have been raped, women and girls who have been raped by family members, who, you know what, maybe just didn’t make the best choice,” Rapinoe said. “And that’s no reason to be forced to have a pregnancy. It will completely exacerbate so many of the existing inequalities that we have in our country.”
Teammate Lindsey Horan also spoke about the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, according to The Bleacher Report.
“I’m still a little bit shocked and trying to take it all in, but I do feel like this is taking a step backwards for our country,” she said.