Athletes Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird
cover ESPN The Magazine's annual Body Issue, making them the
first same-sex couple to appear on the cover.
Seattle Reign forward Rapinoe, who came
out publicly in 2012, appeared in ESPN's 2014 issue. Two-time WNBA
champion Sue Bird and Rapinoe began dating in 2016.
Rapinoe told ESPN that being the first
same-sex couple is important because “visibility is important.”
“What better time than when we need
to be celebrating things that are different about us and accepting
them and trying to understand them better?” Rapinoe said of the
Body Issue cover. “It's pretty incredible to be in this moment.”
“The way I see it is more how you
want to change the conversation or change the narrative of things,"
said. "I think having a gay couple on [the cover], hopefully
it just becomes the norm. You want it to not be an issue. You want it
to just be, Oh, another couple is on there. You know, I think for us
to be on it is the first step in that direction."
An additional 14 athletes appear in the
issue – available on newsstands Friday – including out Olympic
figure skater Adam Rippon.