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Alabama running back Najee Harris might be the most fearsome player in college football and apparently over the last two seasons he has drawn inspiration from U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
Harris, on Wednesday, was asked about why he finds Rapinoe to be inspiring. The running back then launched into a breathtaking diatribe about what Rapinoe means to him.
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"Really all the stuff she stands up for. She’s a feminist and how the females, how women in the world get treated unfairly. And the pay, how they get paid different and different stuff than men. So she really stands up for all that. I like how she does that. And obviously, the social injustice that happened, she plays a part in all of that," Harris told reporters.
"For her to be a woman and saying all that stuff, it can be scary for her for being a woman in what they would say is a man’s world. And her just playing a part, standing up, not listening to all the naysayers out there and really just standing up for what she believes in. It’s motivating and it’s inspirational. Me, as a male, I guess you could say, maybe not too many males would say they look up to a woman nowadays. But I really look up to her, you know, just for what she does outside of sports."
Rapinoe caught Harris’ comments as they went viral on social media.
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Harris has imitated Rapinoe on the football field, celebrating with outstretched arms as the soccer star did in the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Rapinoe was one of the first professional athletes to kneel in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick in 2016. Her act of protest drew rebuke from the old U.S. Soccer Federation regime, which forced players to stand during the national anthem.
Rapinoe vowed to stand for the anthem but not put her hand over her heart as her own form of protest. U.S. Soccer would later change the rules, allowing social justice messages on warm-up uniforms and allowing players to kneel in their latest friendly match last month.
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Harris and the Crimson Tide will take on Notre Dame on Friday in the College Football Playoff.