Egyptian star footballer Mohammed Salah has been named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” of 2019. He is also one of the six cover stars of the magazine and shares the list in the “titans” category with notable personalities like actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, former First Lady Michelle Obama and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
In his interview for the magazine, the footballer who is a practicing Muslim called for a change in the way women are treated in the Arab world. Commenting on female equality, Salah told the magazine, “I think we need to change the way we treat women in our culture. It’s not optional.”
He also said that seeing how women were treated “in my culture and in the Middle East” had changed the way he thought about gender relations. “I support the woman more than I did before, because I feel like she deserves more than what they give her now, at the moment,” he added.
The 26-year-old is being hailed by fans as a feminist icon for calling out the gender inequality in society. English comedian and television host John Oliver referred to Salah as “a better human being than he is a football player,” and “one of the best football players in the world,” in his piece about the footballer for Time magazine.