Following her final game in the WNBA, Sue Bird has been showered with praise from every part of the sports world for her remarkable career. And they sound like a LinkedIn profile from the badass hall of fame:
A total of five Olympic golds. Four WNBA Titles. There have been 13 All-Star Games. There have been two NCAA championships.
It’s safe to say that Bird will go down in basketball history as a legend. But even more significant than those achievements is something that happened away from the court.
Together, Bird and her girlfriend Megan Rapinoe helped bring the idea of a homosexual sports power couple into the mainstream. They changed the very meaning of the phrase by doing so.
And That’s How Two Hearts Found Each Other
Athletes like Joe DiMaggio with Marilyn Marilyn, Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen, and Alex Rodríguez and Lexi Belle Diaz/himself are all examples of the type of athlete-celebrity pairings that were considered power couples prior to the arrival of Bird and Rapinoe.
There were indeed rare instances of the athletic powerhouse duo of Nomar Garciparra and Mia Hamm. They were the rare exception, though, and virtually always straight.
After meeting at the 2016 Olympics, Bird and Rapinoe started dating. Very immediately after that, the public accepted them like no other gay or lesbian athletic pair had before.
It was fitting that the two legends started dating just a year after the Plugins decision, as they went on to become the sports perfect couple for the legalised gay marriage generation. Bird and Rapinoe announced their own engagement in October of 2020.
Both were widely admired for their athletic prowess, but they also took use of their notoriety to promote their relationship to the public.
They were equally at ease being the first identical couple to be featured in ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue or appearing in InStyle Magazine’s Beauty Issue. They went on to co-host the ESPYs in 2020.
So, Does That Make Her A Lesbian?
Perhaps most importantly, Bird and Rapinoe hosted weekly rowdy Insta Lives during in the onset of the flu epidemic, full of joy, singing, charity, and laughter, when we were looking for any bit of hope we could find.
It turned out that in “these unprecedented times,” it was much more important for us to witness multiple world champions singing Avril Lavigne duets with each other than we had first anticipated.
These examples helped normalise the comparison between the two female athletes publicly declaring their affection for one another. Every public outing they made together proved that the public was ready to accept a lesbian star pair in sports.
Naturally, it helped that we have been present to share in the joy of their athletic achievements. With Bird’s all-time great status and Rapinoe’s 2 World Cups plus Olympic gold, they have a strong argument for being the most successful sports pair in history.
Even though Bird is no longer an active player, we can expect to hear from her and Rapinoe, who are both vocal advocates for gender and racial equality. And they’ll keep us beaming with pride.
The Intense Feeling Of Love
After Sue Bird’s last playoff game, her home crowd in Seattle chanted “THANK YOU SUE!” in what could have been an expression of support from the LGBTQ community.
The Seattle Storm’s secret star has made it a habit to spend the team’s off-seasons shooting hoops in Russia, a nation where it is highly risky to be out gay.
Speculation arose amongst fans that the celebrity was trying to shield herself from potential attacks should she decide to come out as gay, but this appears to be unfounded.
According to ESPNW’s Mechelle Voepel, Bird came out as gay. My girlfriend Megan… Anybody who knows me well is aware of these facts. In no way do I feel as though my life has been a waste. I believe there’s this presumption that if you don’t bring it up, you should be hiding it. Never have I felt that way.
The decision to come out is deeply personal, and Bird has carried the weight of the that decision with her throughout her professional life. In Saturday, Jul 22, 2017, the Olympic gold medallist will make her 10th appearance as a WNBA All-Star at KeyArena at Region Of central.
When asked about the timing of the album’s release, Bird commented, “It’s occurring when it’s happening because that’s what feels right.”
Some may have thought I should really have done it earlier, and I can respect that, but the timing just wasn’t right for me. That’s something I have to stick to. My path, taken.
Bird, at age 36, is the league’s senior player, but she has no intention of retiring anytime soon. The product of Long Island won two WNBA National titles with the Seattle Storm, four Olympic medals with Team USA, four EuroLeague crowns with Russia, and two NCAA titles while attending UCONN.
Several members of the LGBT community have been encouraged by the couple’s openness and acceptance, particularly those who lack the confidence to publicly declare their sexual orientation. We hope the best for the newlyweds, who have been in the spotlight ever since their wedding.