Kristie Mewis #19 of NJ/NY Gotham FC in the NWSL Challenge Cup match against Orlando at Red Bull Arena on April 23, 2022 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images)
ENDORSEMENTS

Kristie Mewis Reaches for the Stars

Boardroom caught up with the Gotham FC and USWNT midfielder to discuss her partnership with Six Star, last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, and how this year’s Pride Month hits a little different.

In December, Kristie Mewis learned her new NWSL home would be NY/NJ Gotham FC after a trade with San Diego.

The 31-year-old midfielder has worn many jerseys in her professional soccer career. Mewis was drafted by the since-defunct FC Kansas City in 2013 before moving over to her native Boston from 2014-16. Short stints in Washington (’16-’17) and Chicago (’17) followed before she settled with the Houston Dash for the last four years. During that time, Mewis has also logged two stints with the U.S. Women’s National Team, with 38 international caps to her name overall, broken up by a torn ACL in 2018.

And so, Mewis is the perfect face for a new campaign from Six Star Pro Nutrition that will give away 50 jerseys worn by female athletes — including Mewis’s— this month to honor the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

Mewis became Six Star’s “Ambassador of Active Nutrition” in March, though she previously partnered with the brand in 2020. In 2022, Mewis seems to be at her best: netting a goal for the USWNT during February’s SheBelieves Cup, scoring in Gotham FC’s regular-season opener, and wearing her heart on her (very fashionable) sleeve with girlfriend Sam Kerr all along.

Boardroom caught up with Mewis to discuss experiencing last summer’s Tokyo Olympics with her sister, celebrating Pride Month, and more.

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MEGAN ARMSTRONG: I loved the story you told about how awkward it was to sleep in the same room as your sister, Sam, at the Tokyo Olympics. One can assume that the most special part was becoming the first sisters to play for the USWNT in the Olympics, but what do you carry with you the most?

KRISTIE MEWIS: There aren’t that many Olympic athletes in the world, and to be able to do it with my sister is just amazing. It’s just a memory that we’re gonna have for the rest of our lives, and we’re always gonna talk about it, and we’re always gonna have that special bond and moment that we had with each other there.

We just had so much fun together and having your family member in such a stressful environment, that kind of changes it for you. I always had someone there that I could rely on that I could talk to that I trusted. Um, so it was, it was a pretty incredible experience. And I think that it’s something that we’ll talk about forever.

MA: During the same podcast episode, you talked about how scary it is to admit what you want. What is something you can admit you want now that in the past was too scary to vocalize?

KM: I want to go to the World Cup, whereas before I don’t think I would be able to say that because I obviously don’t want it to not happen. I think my sister has helped me so much to address those types of things that I won’t admit to myself, but that’s definitely something that I want now. And I think that I am mature enough to say it out loud now.

MA: I’ve seen you quoted in the past while discussing your torn ACL that you were “OK with being average” at that time. What is your mentality and your expectations for yourself now?

KM:  I definitely believe wholeheartedly that for a good chunk of my professional career, I was kind of just going with the flow [and] very average. Not doing great, not doing bad. Now, it’s different. I’ve definitely taken a step forward in my career, and I just want to make the biggest impact that I possibly can on the sport for women, for my teammates, for the NWSL, for all the fans, and everyone looking up to us. I just want to be remembered as a great player and do everything that I possibly can to make this World Cup squad. [I want to] have a successful couple more years in my professional career and feel really good about what I left behind.

MA: Has the trade to Gotham FC been a reset button for you?

KM: Yeah, I think so. I really enjoyed my time at Houston. Playing for that team inevitably got me back with the national team, but it was time for a change, and I feel really happy at Gotham. I’m enjoying my time here so much. And I have so much learning to do from my new team, from my coach, and just playing for a different organization. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season and the rest of my time here.

MA: Why did you want to get involved with Six Star’s initiative to give away 50 jerseys of women athletes this month in honor of Title IX’s 50th anniversary?

KM: Six Star is just one of those companies that — why would you not want to be a part of it? They have invested so much in women’s sports. They’ve invested so much in so many other important organizations that it’s kind of a no-brainer. Why would I not want to work with a company that is also supporting me? Everything that they’re doing for us has been so helpful. I want to continue to work with them and make the biggest impact that I possibly can with their help.

MA: Growing up, whose jersey did you rock the most?

KM: I was just saying this, actually. The majority of young girls were obsessed with Mia Hamm. I was obsessed with her. Everything that she did on the field, I admired. She inspired me so much.

MA: Does Pride Month hit different for you this year?

KM: Yeah, I think it does. But I think that it’s impacting everyone in a different way. I think just using your platform is so important right now. It’s super important. It’s impacted my life a lot, and I love supporting it. I love love. I love seeing everyone happy. It’s definitely a really, really cool month, but we don’t just want it to be a cool month. We want it to be so impactful throughout the year, and for the rest of time. So, I think it’s really important that we just keep supporting it and we keep having our voices be heard. It’s been really, really impactful in my life, and I’m trying to impact as much as I possibly can with everyone else, too.

MA: Do you remember when you first realized that June was Pride Month, or that Pride Month was a thing?

KM: No. I don’t remember specifically when I started thinking about it or seeing it. But I think it’s just so special. I mean, I think it should obviously be all the time, but I think it’s just a really great celebration of what we’ve accomplished so far in the LGBTQ+ community.

MA: I will never experience it in my lifetime, so I need to ask somebody who is experiencing it. Does being in a high-profile relationship feel weird?

KM: Sometimes, it’s weird. But I think we’ve also chosen to share it with everyone. Occasionally, it’s weird, but we wouldn’t have put it out to the world if we didn’t want to show it. It’s good things and bad things.

MA: Why was it important to you to put it out there?

KM: Neither of us wanted to hide that we were in love with each other. It’s something so special. [Hopefully] we change one or two lives — or one or two people — in the way that they feel about themselves, that they can kind of look up to us and see that we’re okay with the way that we are. We love who we love. If we can impact other people in that way, that’s really special. I don’t think that hiding your personal life is necessarily a bad thing. We’re just choosing to be authentic and just be ourselves. I don’t think we want to hide anything, so we’re happy with sharing it.

MA: What makes you feel the most alive at this moment in your life?

KM:  Just being on the field. Going to training every day, playing in games, those moments when you’re a little nervous before games, that’s probably when I feel that the most. And I think that obviously means something — that this is my passion. This is what I’m meant to be doing. That’s probably the most amazing feeling ever.

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