Why Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird Are Happy to Be Everyone's #CoupleGoals

With their collection of trophies and their obvious affection Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are the sort of pair you can't help but root for. And, well, Megan gets it. She opens up to E! News.

By Sarah Grossbart Jul 27, 2021 8:00 AMTags
Watch: Megan Rapinoe & Alex Morgan Throwback: Live From E! Rewind

Months after spontaneously dropping to one knee during their Antiguan vacation last fall, Megan Rapinoe already had just a few definite ideas of how she'd like to kick off married life with Sue Bird

Not necessarily a fine-tuned approach to the what, when, where of it all, the pastel-tressed soccer phenom not necessarily known for her commitment to planning. But certainly the how. 

"We want it to be long," Rapinoe posed while chatting with E! News in March. "Not just one day, but probably just make it a big vacation for all of our friends." Because every time she's been to a loved one's special day, say, when she served as Ashlyn Harris' maid of honor at her December 2019 Miami vows to fellow U.S. Women's National Soccer Team member Ali Krieger, "they're just so fun, but it happens so quickly," Rapinoe said, emphasizing with a snap. "So how do we drag this out as long as possible and have as much fun as possible, I think is kind of the goal." 

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The details, like which label Rapinoe, cofounder of streetwear brand re—inc might choose for her wedding day look, will eventually work themselves out.

"We're both pretty low-key and laidback," she noted. "I think it'll just be fun. We want to bring people together that have meant so much to us personally and in our relationship and in our lives and just be able to celebrate."

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Because that's the why, after all. 

Beyond rejoicing in the fact that they found one another, two of Seattle's star athletes coming together to form one ass-kicking, trophy-collecting you-can't-help-but-root-for-them pair, "I think we're very keenly aware of what our relationship means to other people," the 36-year-old said when asked if she and WNBA point guard Bird, 40, ever feel the pressure of representing #couplegoals to so many.

"We understand how positive an impact just us being together and sort of the revolutionary act of being joyful and not struggling and being in love and being gay at the same time," she continued. "So I think that's something that's really special to us." 

The label can admittedly feel a bit strange, "Like, 'What? We're a power couple? I don't even know what that means.'" But when she stopped to reflect, she said, "I would have loved to have any couple like us when I was growing up. We had, like, what, Ellen [DeGeneres]? That was it. We have so many more role models and people to look to, so I hope that we can provide that example and live our lives openly and freely."

And if you think that level of scrutiny scares the two-time World Cup champion, the recipient of 2019's Golden Boot and Golden Ball trophies, well, it's possible you haven't been paying that close of attention. 

The athlete, currently representing Team USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics alongside her fiancée, moves through life with what Bird labels "Megan Goggles," referring to how Rapinoe just "does things sometimes. Do it...then love it...then—later, at the very end, if there's time—worry about it." And she's been outspoken on everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to the uptick in violence against the Asian-American community. The first white American athlete to kneel during the national anthem, she continued to do so even when told it could get her kicked off the team.

"There's been things that I've done in my life that are hard," she admitted when pressed about fears she's worked past, "but I think it's the constant commitment to continuing to be better that can be hard. That requires a lot. It can be challenging and it can be scary because you don't really know what's on the other side of that."

Speaking to E! in March, she felt very much like we're at the precipice of progress, "in a special moment where we can really capitalize on the groundswell and really just lean into the marginalized communities and women and people of color and all of that," she noted. "And I feel like the more we listen to them, the more we center them, the better off everybody will be." As such, there's only one thing that truly scares her so to speak. 

"I mean, switching to a natural deodorant," she replied, referring to the campaign with Schmidt's Natural Deodorant that sees her cheekily state that her go-to lavender and sage scent is "strong enough for me, but made for everyone."  

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Mindful about the brands she partners with, she appreciated the messaging behind the gender-neutral product. "There's just so many antiquated 'norms' that we subscribe to and that were told to us whether passively or actively that just, when you really think about it, don't make sense at all," she explained. "Lavender smells nice on me just as it would smell nice on a man or nice on a trans person."

Because in case you were unclear, women are every effing bit as strong as men. "I mean, it's like, we birth babies, of course we're strong!" said Rapinoe, who's made it her mission to champion the next wave of bad asses. 


She, along with her USWNT teammates and Bird are still leading the charge for equal pay. "Knowing how much is required of us to make a lot of money and all that extra work, I do hope one day that players can just play and if they want to do stuff off the field, great," she explained of the collection of hats female athletes have to wear to cobble together a salary that's even a fraction of what men make just to suit up. 

"I absolutely will be jealous and I'll probably be like that jaded older player," she said, before joking, "I'll never pay for anything around them ever again. They can pay for everything because I'll know they'll have it!"

She hopes for the chance to remind everyone that she's worth every penny she pockets while competing for Team USA at the Olympics. Ahead of the games, despite so much unknown with COVID, she was optimistic the world will come together. "I feel like it would be a really special and positive and hopeful thing," she said. "But if it doesn't, it's okay too." 


Because she's well aware that she's already enjoying quite the golden age, her and Bird's assortment of hardware including two World Cup titles, a handful of basketball championships at the collegiate and professional level and five gold medals. 

"This is a really special time in both of our lives where all of this stuff is colliding in a few year period," she said of their tendency to collect championships like other couples do vintage wines. "You know, I think we both attribute a lot of that success to each other in so many ways."

Falling for Bird months after they connected at the 2016 Olympics in Rio felt like coming home. And so they enjoyed every bit of being shut-ins this past year. 

"I can't even be thankful enough for the time we were able to spend together," she said. While their three-year run of dominance has been amazing "it takes you away from each other. We travel all the time and just in general, we're ships in the night a lot of the time during our seasons," she noted. "To be able to just pause and really stop and hit reset and take time for us personally and us as a couple was just amazing. I'll always be so thankful for that. I mean, literally, it'll probably never happen again in our lives until we're, like, 80."

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Though, not gonna lie, with the the world beginning to creak back open, she's ready to f--king go. "I'm, like, scared to go to bars," she joked, "and I can't wait also." 

And after those initial rounds of shots and out-'til-dawn nights out, the celebration will really begin, the two planning to set a date post-pandemic. "We probably need to get past the, like, first wave of wildness after COVID, because that's going to be insane," Rapinoe said. "We'll probably wait for that to calm down a little bit and then invite people to be relatively responsible when they show up to the wedding."

Relatively, anyway. As she shared, "We really want it to be a celebration."

This story was originally published on Sunday, March 21, 2020 at 12 a.m. PT.