Megan Rapinoe hung up her boots last month, but with the soccer star as active off the field as she was on it during her career, she will undoubtedly be keeping herself busy during retirement.
The 38-year-old stepped into retirement in unfortunate circumstances, tearing her Achilles within three minutes of her final game last month.
Aside from ringing in her retirement with successful surgery to repair the injury, Rapinoe has been relatively quiet as she mulls her next steps post-soccer.
Her glittering career on the field boasted two World Cup wins, an Olympic gold medal and three NWSL Shields and it’s unlikely Rapinoe is going to allow her achievements to be limited to soccer after hanging up her boots.
Here, DailyMail.com takes a look at what the future could hold in store for the soccer icon.
Megan Rapinoe’s career ended in an Achilles tear last month and the star has been silent since
Rapinoe is already no stranger to the White House, having been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden.
She also managed to draw the ire of another former president, sending Donald Trump into one of his infamous Twitter frenzies.
Rapinoe herself has admitted she’s considered a career in the political sphere, telling The Ringer earlier this year: ‘I’ve had the thought. I’ve just been asked so many times I’ve been forced to think about it.’
However, it appears her activism is the more likely route as she added: ‘I do want to live my life. Probably selfishly I just am like, ‘That [politics] seems like a lot.”
The forward was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden in 2022
Fighting for causes she believes in has gone hand-in-hand with Rapinoe’s work on the field throughout her career.
Rapinoe, who publicly came out in 2012 ahead of the London Olympics, is an outspoken LBGTQ+ advocate who helped the US women’s players obtain a new labor deal with the USSF that effectively pays female athletes the same as their male counterparts.
But she truly cemented her position as an outspoken figure for the American fanbase when she took the knee during the national anthem in 2016, becoming one of the first white athletes to do so.
She first did so in September 2016, during an NWSL game between Chicago and Seattle in support of Colin Kaepernick.
The soccer veteran first took the knee during the national anthem in September 2016
And stepping into retirement, Rapinoe made it clear that she had no regrets on or off the field
‘The off-field stuff is what is most meaningful (to me) and I think what I’m most proud of leaving this team and leaving the game,’ she said.
‘Being so vocal about racial justice or gay rights, I feel like the team really stepped into it and took upon itself to be so much more of what we were on the field and really focus on that.’
‘We’ve been a very special generation of players, but I think it says a lot about us that everything we’ve accomplished on the field pales in comparison to what we’ve done off the field.’
Leaving behind a lasting legacy for her activism within the game, Rapinoe will undoubtedly use the spare time on her hands to further her social work.
It made her one of the first white athletes to take the knee in support of Colin Kaepernick
A path well-trodden by retired soccer stars is, of course, the punditry route. Former USMNT stars Clint Dempsey and Charlie Davies feature on CBS’s Champions League coverage, while Alexi Lalas fronted Fox’s World Cup coverage of the men’s World Cup in Qatar.
Rapinoe’s former USWNT teammate Carli Lloyd also turned her hand to punditry this summer
However, Lloyd used her platform to cut into her former national teammates following their World Cup exit, which may not be Rapinoe’s cup of tea.
But with the NWSL’s new four-year media rights deal kicking in next year, Rapinoe could be open to sticking close to the league but from a position in the commentary booth or studio instead of the pitch.
The deal, announced by commissioner Jessica Berman last month, is worth a combined $60 million per year and will broadcast over 100 games combined on ESPN/ABC, CBS, Prime Sports and ION.
Rapinoe’s former USWNT teammate Carli Lloyd turned her hand to punditry this summer
Following her retirement, Rapinoe declared that the NWSL wouldn’t be getting rid of her that easily, pledging to still be involved and support the league, despite stepping off the field for good.
‘The investment and the capital and the ability to invest in the business of the league – we’ve seen what Angel City has done and the atmosphere that they’ve created – this year was incredible,’ she said of the NWSL, via People.
‘I think we’re really at a point where you’re going to start seeing that kind of exponential growth that I think the league is really ready for, that I know the players are ready for, and that’s kind of what we’ve been envisioning and fighting for all of this time.’
And it’s very easy to see her involvement constituting of a coaching role.
Following her retirement, Rapinoe declared that the NWSL wouldn’t be getting rid of her easily
Rapinoe has been a leading figure on both the USWNT and the Reign and a role model in more recent years for the next generation stepping up.
But that doesn’t appear to be on the cards for Rapinoe – not in her mind anyway.
Following her final game, Rapinoe shut down talk of her stepping into a management role, saying that she ‘doesn’t want to coach or be locked down into one job.’
However, she still insisted that she ‘would love to stay a part of’ her former team, OL Reign, in the organization.
‘I would love to stay a part of this group in some kind of way. I feel like I have a lot to offer in terms of the vision and who we should be.’
A feasible option, and one that already goes hand-in-hand with her activism, is a greater focus on her production company.
Rapinoe owns a production company, called, A Touch More with her fiancée, former WNBA star Sue Bird.
The company’s mission is to help tell stories by queer people and people of color and Rapinoe will no doubt dedicate more time to production with Bird.
Rapinoe could also focus on her production company which she owns with fiancée Sue Bird
‘Megan and I work really well together, and that’s not to say it’s all roses,’ Bird told People in September.
‘I think that’s really where the good stuff comes from, the good ideas. It’s from bumping heads, it’s from having different perspectives, different journeys, and bringing that to the table and seeing what makes sense, what matches, and challenging each other.’
‘I think that’s how A Touch More came to be, us sitting on the couch just talking s— about a bunch of different things. Sometimes we’re in total alignment, sometimes we just see it differently, but then we’re able to talk through it and whittle down to the actual heart of it all.’
‘That, I think is where our partnership as people can really be beneficial in the business world. We’re accustomed to doing that from our sports backgrounds, from our team sports backgrounds. We have it in our relationship also, and hopefully we can bring it to the rest of the world through A Touch More.’