‘Pink Hair, Don't Care’: A Print Media Analysis of Megan Rapinoe at the 2019 Women's World Cup

Rachael Bullingham, Rory Magrath

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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    The 2019 FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) Women's World Cup in France saw unprecedented levels of success for women's football. FIFA estimates that, for the first time, total global viewership of the tournament reached 1bn. During the tournament, the eventual champions – the United States – saw their midfield veteran, Megan Rapinoe, win the golden boot (top goal scorer) and the golden ball award (most valuable player). In addition to her exploits on the pitch, Rapinoe, one of numerous ‘out’ lesbian athletes competing at the Women's World Cup, also received an unprecedented amount of media coverage. In this chapter, we analyse British print media coverage of Rapinoe during the one-month period of the Women's World Cup (7th June–7th July) and the week after the tournament concluded. Our findings indicate that although Rapinoe is a polarising character, media coverage of her throughout the tournament was generally positive. We show this through Rapinoe as a ‘personality’, Rapinoe as ‘outspoken’ and Rapinoe as a role model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWomen’s Football in a Global, Professional Era
    EditorsAlex Culvin, Ali Bowes
    Place of PublicationBingley
    PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80071-052-8
    ISBN (Print)978-1-80071-053-5
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2023

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