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.
|Title of host publication||Women’s Football in a Global, Professional Era|
|Editors||Alex Culvin, Ali Bowes|
|Place of Publication||Bingley|
|Publisher||Emerald Publishing Limited|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Mar 2023|