US icon Megan Rapinoe taking on Donald Trump represented a new generation of sports stars prepared to address issues beyond the white lines of the football pitch. From Póg Mo Goal Issue 7.

“I’m not going to the f*cking White House.” Megan Rapinoe’s words mid-World Cup marked her as prepared to speak truth to the highest power.

When President Donald Trump tweeted his criticism, the US icon had the perfect riposte lifting the trophy along with 2019’s Golden Boot, Ballon d’Or and FIFA Best.

Rapinoe was among the first to join NFL’s Colin Kaepernick’s protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem and continues by refusing to sing it. She carried on her activism campaigning for equal pay.

The US star represents a new generation prepared to speak on issues beyond the white lines of the pitch. England won praise for insisting on taking the knee at Euro 2020 despite similar denunciation from the Prime Minister and they too refused a visit to Downing Street albeit more subtly than their forthright American colleague.

Illustration by Instruct, a Manchester-based studio that works closely with the National Football Museum.