Megan Rapinoe once called herself a “walking protest.”
So it was no surprise to see the two-time World Cup champion continue her advocacy work during Thursday’s Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House.
Rapinoe accepted her medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor, while wearing a suit jacket embroidered with Brittney Griner‘s initials.
In recent weeks, pressure has been mounting on President Biden and the White House to prioritize securing Griner’s release from Russia.
“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever, Griner wrote to President Biden in an excerpt of a letter released on July 4.
Earlier on Thursday, Griner pleaded guilty to drug possession charges, a move that has the potential to expedite court proceedings.
Ahead of the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony, Rapinoe posted a photo of Griner’s embroidered initials on her Instagram story. “(T)he most important part of today,” Rapinoe wrote. “BG We Love You.”
Rapinoe was not alone in honoring — and calling attention to — Griner during Thursday’s ceremony. Sue Bird, Rapinoe’s fiancee and Griner’s Olympic teammate, wore a “We are BG” pin on her own suit jacket during the event.
Simone Biles was also honored on Thursday, becoming the youngest living person to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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