On Monday, Sports Illustrated announced its 2019 Sportsperson of the Year: Megan Rapinoe. The annual award is given to an athlete, coach, or team who best represents the spirit and ideals of sportsmanship, character, and performance.
Rapinoe is the fourth woman to cover the magazine solo, and she’s doing it in a Valentino dress, swapping out her soccer cleats for a pair of Maison Margiela shoes. What’s that saying? Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she’ll conquer the world? Well, put her in cleats or Margielas: Consider the world conquered.
The Valentino gown features a sheer turtleneck bodice with what appears to be statues embracing on top rose decals over a pleated skirt. Her pink hair coordinates with the gown. Her Margiela oxfords complete the look. As does the sledgehammer.
Rapinoe shared her cover with her Instagram followers, writing: “While we do not get to choose what we see or what happens around us, and sometimes to us and others, we do get to choose how we bear witness to it.” Back in 2016, Rapinoe took a stance against police brutality and systematic racism by taking a knee during the National Anthem, which was also a show of solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick. “He needs support,” the 34-year-old remembers to SI, “and I can help.” She’s also been incredibly outspoken about the pay inequality between male and female athletes.
“Even in a year with many great candidates, choosing Megan as the Sportsperson of the Year was an easy decision,” Co-Editor in Chief of Sports Illustrated, Steve Cannella said in a press release. “She is a force of nature on and off the field, a trailblazing soccer player who also proves every day how large and loud a voice a socially conscious athlete can have in 2019.”
This isn’t the first time Rapinoe has looked good as hell while being awarded for her activism. Think: The Coach black blazer and leather shorts she wore to the Espys in July with lace-up Christian Louboutin shoes, or the velvet Gucci frock dripped in champion-worthy jewels that she wore to Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year awards.
Megan will be featured on the cover of the December 16 Sports Illustrated issue, which will also include the rest of this year’s recipients (previously announced 2019 winners are Warrick Dunn (The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award), Luka Dončić (Breakout of the Year), and Ally Sentnor (SportsKid of the Year).