In the afterglow of the U.S. winning the Women’s World Cup on Sunday, team star Megan Rapinoe ended an on-field interview with a more personal celebration.
“Just one thing,” she said, in the video below. “Happy birthday, Brian. I love you so much.”
The shoutout to her older brother carried a history of heartbreak between the siblings ― and hope, ESPN reported.
Brian has spent much of his adult life in prison for a variety of crimes, some violent and many stemming from his heroin addiction. He joined a white supremacist gang ― an allegiance he has since disavowed ― and landed in California’s only super-max prison.
But Brian Rapinoe has collected his own victories of late, the sports network noted. After spending his sister’s previous two World Cups in solitary confinement, he achieved his goal of being able to watch her on TV, in a dormitory, as part of San Diego’s Male Community Reentry Program. It’s a step that enables inmates to serve the last year of their sentence getting an education or working outside of prison. According to the New York Post, Brian Rapinoe is now taking classes at San Diego City College.
Rapinoe said how much she looked up to Brian before his troubles began, and said he still had much to offer. Her brother, who’s been off drugs for 18 months, had his own take on their relationship.
“I was her hero, but now, there’s no question, she is mine,” Brian told ESPN.