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November 16, 2023

Megan Rapinoe’s Last Gasp

When faced with adversity, the soccer star rages at a God she doesn’t believe in.

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team star Megan Rapinoe has played her final match as a professional. To say that it was a disappointing ending for her is an understatement. She was playing in a national championship game for her club team, the OL Reign, when, six minutes into the match, and with no one else around her, she took a sharp cut while running and apparently tore her Achilles tendon.

At first, one might be tempted to feel sorry for this once-great soccer player. Like many a great athlete before her, Rapinoe continued to play despite her waning dominance on the field. Now age 38, she barely played in the recent World Cup as a result. One also has to weigh the sadness of an athlete of her caliber presumably doing all she can to keep her body healthy and minimize the risk of injuries, and then this freak accident happens.

But any sentiments of pity are quickly dried up by her reaction (which is sadly not out of character for her). Her profanity-laced response was: “I’m not a religious person or anything, and if there was a God, like, this is proof that there isn’t. This is f****d up. It’s just f****d up. Six minutes in, and I eat my Achilles.”

To quote Not the Bee: “God doesn’t exist because you tripped over nothing and hurt yourself? God doesn’t exist because the world doesn’t revolve around you? You tripped over nothing so nothing is all there is?”

Rapinoe has ineloquently articulated what many struggle with when it comes to faith in God and the problem with pain and suffering. There is an entire book in the Bible, the book of Job, that addresses the purpose of suffering.

Washington Stand reporter Sarah Holliday makes a great point: “Paganism will always fail to explain suffering.” Non-believers see suffering as pointless and cruel; believers know that suffering has a purpose to it. Rapinoe, based on her comments — granted, spoken in the throws of disappointment — fell neatly into the atheistic worldview of unbelief. Joseph Backholm, senior fellow at the Family Research Council, says: “She’s clearly frustrated. Of course, you can’t be mad at someone you don’t believe exists. So, I think her need to go out of her way to say her injury is proof that God does not exist was an attempt to exact a pound of flesh from a God she is generally angry at for reasons known only to her.”

Aside from the attack against a God she doesn’t believe in, the other sad aspect of this is just the utter lack of character Rapinoe displayed even in her last gasp as a professional player. In the face of adversity and a true freak accident, her response is that of selfish petulance and of rage.

One can only hope that these are the last words we’ll hear from this self-centered and broken human; that her hurtful ideas and damaging worldview — which can be directly tied to the breakdown in dominance of the U.S. women’s soccer team — may fade into silence. Yet it is our sincere hope that she does find God and that He shows her that He is the only one who can heal all her brokenness.

As it stands, Megan Rapinoe’s illustrious career has ended with a whimper instead of the bang she intended.

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