She Was First Inspired to Play Football by Her Older Brother
When Rapinoe was on the U-19 US women's national team, she wore a No. 7 jersey, which is the same jersey number her brother Brian wore when he played football. Growing up, Rapinoe idolized her brother. As she explained to ESPN in July 2019, "He played left wing, so I played left wing. He wore No. 7; I wore No. 7. He got a bowl cut, so I did, too."
That made it all the more difficult for Rapinoe to cope with Brian's drug addiction and legal troubles. Though Brian spent most of his adult life in prison, the two kept in contact and she's never given up on him. "My brother is special," she told ESPN. "He has so much to offer. It would be such a shame if he left this world with nothing but prison sentences behind him."