Najee Harris on why Megan Rapinoe inspires him
Alabama Runs Back Najee Harris has honored Megan Rapinoe, the US national soccer team, with the highest form of flattery. In 2019 he imitated the two-time world champion for the first time arms outstretched aim celebration after the hurdles in the end zone.
At his media availability at Rose Bowl on Tuesday, he delved deeper into his appreciation for Rapinoe and why he is motivated by her.
Najee Harris on Rapinoe’s inspiration
When asked why he had honored Rapinoe with the celebrations, Harris began with a basic answer.
“She’s from California first and foremost and listens to Nipsey. Nipsey Hussle, one of my favorite rappers,” said Harris.
Rapinoe is such a huge fan that she used the late rapper’s lyrics to celebrate her 2019 World Cup victory on Instagram. She won the Golden Ball for the best player and the Golden Shoe for the best goalscorer at the tournament in France.
His admiration for her goes beyond ordinary musical tastes. Harris gave a thoughtful answer on why one of the brightest male soccer stars looks up to a woman.
“Really all of the stuff she stands up for,” said Harris. “She’s a feminist and like women, how women in the world are treated unfairly. And the payment, how they are paid differently and differently than men. So she really stands for all of that. I like the way she does it. And obviously the social injustice that happened plays a role in all of this.
“When she’s a woman and says all of that, it can be scary for her to be a woman in a man’s world. And she just plays a role, stands up, doesn’t listen to all the naysayers out there, and really only stands up for that what she believes in. It’s motivating and inspiring. Me as a man, you could say, maybe not too many men would say that they look up to a woman these days. But I really look up to her, you know, just for that what she does outside of sport. “
Harris was an integral part of the Alabama Football Team’s March for Social Justice in August. It was intended to protest systemic racism after police shot Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Harris led the march alongside head coach Nick Saban, who wore a Defend Black Lives T-shirt. He addressed the crowd at the event.
Rapinoe calls out to Harris and cheers “Roll Tide”.
Rapinoe responded to the recognition by greeting Harris on their social pages. It looks like she will be looking for Alabama at the Rose Bowl on Friday. Or at least for the star who runs back and tells him to “hurdle someone for me!” It’s a reference to his hurdle on the climax role that led to the first touchdown celebration in Rapinoe’s honor.
Rapinoe has described herself as a “walking protest” and her background in social justice is well known. She knelt in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and has been one of the leading activist voices ever since. She is part of the USWNT’s struggle for equal pay, a leading voice for racial justice and a prominent advocate of the rights and laws of LGBTQ + who support it.
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