Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe on Her New Show

Megan Rapinoe is a global soccer icon: an Olympic gold medalist, Women’s World Cup champion and FIFA Women’s Player of 2019. She’s also a role model for thoughtful political activism in sports. Now, she joins the ranks of talk show hosts, with her new HBO series “Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe,” the next phase in her personal campaign for women’s rights and racial justice.

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MEGAN RAPINOE, HOST, “SEEING AMERICA WITH MEGAN RAPINOE”: I think very early on, I tried to just take the approach or the attitude of like what can we do. I wasn’t going to stress out about not being able to train or play games. That obviously wasn’t possible. So, you know, with technology, you know, with the capacity of the platform that I have, what can we do to, you know, make our voices heard or to help out in some way? Sometimes it’s providing comedic relief, sometimes it’s speaking up about, you know, the racial injustice and, you know, the protesters in the streets and supporting them. You know, and now, the TV show, which I’m very lucky to have. But I think it was just like, you know, nobody could control this moment right now, so how do you make the best of it and just try to stay level-headed through it all.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So, that’s interesting because we’re going to play a clip in a second. You have — I mean, the title, as I say, is “Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe.” In this — at least the first episode, you’re joined by the congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones, of course, behind the 1619 Project, and comedian, Hasan Minhaj. Are they a regular panel for you or what do you — what did you want to get out of them? What did you get out of them?

RAPINOE: Well, thank you to all three of them. I was very lucky to be able to pull such an incredible panel together. I think what I was trying to get out and what I’ll continue to try to get out no matter who the guests are, is, A, that we all have a responsibility in whatever way we can, and we can be most impactful to make the world a better place, to make it a more fair and equitable place. Obviously, you know, Representative Ocasio-Cortez, she’s in politics, she’s crafting legislators, she’s looking after her district. That’s going to be the way that she can be most effective. Nikole Hannah-Jones, obviously a journal. Hasan Minhaj is a comedian. So, how do we all our own way affect the world in a better path? I think sometimes people feel as if — you know, if they’re not a politician or they’re not a full-time activist, then they feel overwhelmed as if there is nothing for them to do. But I think that there’s something for everyone to do. So for me, talking to those three who, you know, I said in the show, they’re already on the front lines of making change, the way that — you know, Hasan is a first generation immigrant — would see the world is something different than the way that I would see the world. And the way that, you know, Nikole Hannah-Jones gave us, you know, the real history of the United States, I think, makes people think, OK, well, maybe there’s something here that I’m not seeing that can broaden my perspective and can allow me understand people or the world in a different way. Because, ultimately, we all need to do this together. We’re all in this together. We don’t live on silos. We’re a social animal. And it’s going to take everybody working together, hopefully, to bring us to a better place.

About This Episode EXPAND

A special report for Beirut, Lebanon. Then, Christiane speaks with the superintendent of a Mississippi school district, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and soccer icon Megan Rapinoe. Walter Isaacson speaks with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.