A petition asking EA to include Women's World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe as the cover athlete for the upcoming FIFA 2020 game has nearly reached its goal of 2,500 signatures. Sitting near 1,800 signatures at the time of this publication, and steadily climbing, the petition is on pace to reach its goal within the next day or so, and it's safe to assume that it may even surpass that goal.
Created by Change.org user, Darren Holland, the petition aims to not only highlight one of the greatest soccer players in the world by putting her on the cover of a massively popular video game, but to also shed a light on the fact that Women's World Cup soccer teams receive only a fraction of the prize money that is awarded to the men's teams. In the petition's description, Holland explains that, "Fifa needs to change (its) policy on prize money but that's just the start. More exposure of this team and women's football will help change their minds." According to The New York Times, Fifa set aside about $30 million total as prize money for the 2019 Women's World Cup, whereas the 2018 Men's World Cup prize money surmounted to a whopping $400 million.
After winning an Olympic Gold Medal, as well as two Women's World Cup Championships, Rapinoe has established herself as one of the top-tier athletes in women's soccer, although her career has not been without controversy. She openly kneeled during the National Anthem in solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, back in 2016, and has frequently criticized US President Donald Trump and his policies.
Rapinoe has developed a reputation not only as a premiere athlete, but also as someone who is not afraid to speak out against political policies and ideologies that she disagrees with. Her activism has gained her immense popularity amongst soccer fans and non-fans alike, but she's not without controversy. That extends to the decision to put her on the cover of FIFA 2020.
Yet with Rapinoe's popularity, the statement made by the Change.org petition, as well as her status as a role model to young women across America, it is not out of the realm of possibility that she may end up on the cover of Fifa 2020. While the move would be a progressive one that will surely make many fans of the US Women's soccer team happy, there will certainly be those who have a problem with the decision.