Smith and fellow USWNT member Naomi Girma have been friends since childhood and also attended Stanford together, where they were part of the soccer team that won a national championship in 2019. Last year, their friend and former Stanford teammate Katie Meyer died by suicide, and Smith and Girma are committed to championing mental health in her memory.
After scoring her second goal in the USWNT’s 2023 World Cup match against Vietnam, Smith celebrated with a “zipping the lips” gesture, a tribute to Meyer’s celebratory gesture in 2019. The duo are hoping to honor their late friend by bringing awareness to mental health.
“I think we see this as an opportunity to shed light on a lot of things that are important to us, and I think that’s been something that’s at the core of this team for so long,” Girma told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “And for us to come in now and carry on that legacy is something that’s really important to us.”