Sue Bird, Christen Press and Tobin Heath all spoke about the star athlete's upcoming retirement.
Megan Rapinoe is getting some big praise. At the 2023 ESPY Awards on Wednesday, Rapinoe's partner, Sue Bird, and her U.S. Women's National teammates, Christen Press and Tobin Heath, spoke highly of the soccer star days after she announced her impending retirement.
"It is with a deep sense of peace and gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game," Rapinoe wrote July 8 on Instagram alongside a pic of her as a child. "I never could have imagined the ways in which soccer would shape and change my life forever, but by the look on this little girl's face, I think she knew all along."
Bird joked to ET's Nischelle Turner that her fiancée was "having like retirement F.O.M.O" when she "saw the life I was living" after she retired from the WNBA in 2022.
"She had such an amazing career, epic career," Bird said. "Tons of winning, but everything she's done that's gonna impact the rest of us happened off the field and that's gonna live on forever and continue. So she's retiring from soccer, but luckily not from life."
As for what the couple is going to do now, Bird joked that she and Rapinoe plan to "take over the world."
"I think we'll probably take some time and just see what it's like with no sports, which I think we're both looking forward to, and then go from there," she said. "We actually have a production company called A Touch More, so we'll get involved in that. I think we're going to try to do it all, just try to tell the stories that don't always get told. Shine that light in
places that don't always get it, so that's the goal."
Meanwhile, when Press and Heath spoke to ET, the former said, "there's no words to describe" Rapinoe's career.
"She has led us on and off the field for decades. She is someone that we have both played really closely with, that we both looked up to, that we've both learned from, and we will continue to do so, because the beauty of Megan Rapinoe is what she does on the field is only a fraction of who she is and what she stood for, and what she stood against," she added. "I'm very confident that she will continue to lead us into the next chapters of her life."
Heath agreed, telling ET, "Amen. I couldn't have said it better myself."
Press, Heath, Rapinoe and the rest of the U.S. Women's National soccer team are being honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at Wednesday's ceremony for their ongoing pursuit of equal pay.
"It's an incredible honor," Press said. "It's humbling to be recognized for the work that we did. I'm fighting for equal pay. It was a long and hard journey. We're happy to be here. We're also happy to be continuing the fight, because we won't stop until there's equality for all."
"This fight is so much more than just winning championships. I mean, we're used to winning the awards, like the World Cups, the Olympics, we're used to that," Heath added. "... [There are] generations of women who have been fighting this fight, and to be able to continue to do so and be recognized is so special."
Check out the 2023 ESPYs winner's list to see all of Wednesday's recognized athletes.