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Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom, Honors Griner

Megan Rapinoe received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden Thursday morning at the White House. The award is the highest civilian honor in the nation.This is the first time a soccer player has received the honor, and it is the sixth time a female athlete has received it, according to the White House.“Beyond the World Cup titles and the Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for [an] essential American truth that everyone — everyone — is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect," Biden said in his speech.She was honored alongside 16 others, including gymnast Simone Biles, actor Denzel Washington, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, and Sen.
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#OscarsSoDiverse? Nonwhite, Deaf and LGBTQ Actors Gain Ground in Nominations
last year’s record heights, the highlights include four Black actors being recognized along with LGBTQ and deaf actors, as well as female and Asian filmmakers in the Best Director race. In the Best Actor race, Will Smith is considered a major contender to become only the fifth Black actor to win the award for his performance as Serena and Venus Williams’ father Richard in the inspirational sports film “King Richard.” If he wins, he would join a list that includes the late Sidney Poitier, Jamie Foxx, Forest Whitaker, and Denzel Washington, the latter of whom also earned his ninth acting Oscar nomination this year for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” The Best Supporting Actress race also sees Smith’s “King Richard” co-star Aunjanue Ellis among the list of contenders, along with Afrolatina star Ariana DeBose for her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.” DeBose is also an LGBTQ actress, making it the first time ever that more than one openly queer actor has been nominated in a single year as Kristen Stewart, who identifies as bisexual, was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in “Spencer.” To date, only nine Black women have won acting Oscars, with the first being Hattie McDaniel in 1939 for “Gone With The Wind” and Regina King the most recent in 2018 for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Eight of those winners were for supporting roles, with Halle Berry being the only Black woman to win for a leading role with “Monster’s Ball” in 2001.
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