Star Athlete Disrespects Anthem To Spite Trump, Has No Problem Playing for Official US Team


With the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer tournament now underway in France, all eyes have turned toward the United States Women’s National Team.

The team is the overwhelmingly odds-on favorite to win it all, as evidenced by their opening game thrashing of Thailand by a lopsided score of 13-0.

One of the star players on the U.S. team, forward Megan Rapinoe, scored a goal in that massive victory. However, it was her non-sports-related actions prior to the start of the game and commentary even before that which have garnered the star player a wealth of attention.

TheBlaze reported that, true to her earlier word, Rapinoe refused to participate in the customary honoring of her own nation’s flag ahead of the opening kick-off. She stood stoically silent in protest as the rest of her team placed their hands over their hearts and sang along with the national anthem, even as she wore the jersey of the nation that anthem and flag represent.

Prior to the start of the famous quadrennial international tournament, Rapinoe had made it clear in an interview that she would not cover her heart or sing along with the anthem, but would instead use that time to stage a silent protest against President Donald Trump and his administration.

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Her stance had been revealed in an interview with Yahoo Sports published in May, in which the openly gay and social justice-focused player described herself as a “walking protest” and her anti-anthem antics as a sort of “F you” to President Trump.

The article noted that much like every other player on the Women’s National Team — if not like every U.S. national team in virtually all sports — Rapinoe used to place her hand over her heart and proudly sing along with the national anthem prior to the start of a match.

However, everything changed for her in 2016 when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick began to kneel in protest of the anthem and flag — which, everyone will recall, was staunchly opposed by President Trump — a protest tactic she immediately adopted and emulated herself. This was prior to the U.S. Soccer organization changing the rules to require all players stand in honor of the anthem and flag.

Though she took issue with the rule change, she nevertheless has obeyed it and no longer kneels for the anthem. However, she still uses those couple of moments to stage a silent protest of the nation she represents instead of honor it, standing silent with a scowl and her hands by her side or behind her back.

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“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” Rapinoe said in the interview. “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”

Rapinoe has made her view of Trump equally clear. In her eyes, he is “misogynistic,” “racist,” “sexist,” “small-minded,” and “not a good person.” Asked if, given all of that, she felt odd wearing the jersey of the nation that Trump governs, and said, “Not really. Because I feel like I’m a walking protest.”

Sticking with the “walking protest” theme, Rapinoe admitted that she knew it was a “privilege” to wear the jersey of the U.S. national team and represent her country, even the administration she despises. She further explained how she is attempting to use her platform to spark conversation and debate about social issues she feels need more attention.

“I feel like it’s kind of defiance in and of itself to just be who I am and wear the jersey, and represent it,” Rapinoe said in the interview. “Because I’m as talented as I am, I get to be here, you don’t get to tell me if I can be here or not.”

“So it’s kind of a good ‘F you’ to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have towards people who don’t look exactly like him. Which, God help us if we all looked like him. Scary. Really scary. Ahh, disturbing,” she added.

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To be sure, as a citizen of the great nation that the team Rapinoe plays for represents, she has every right to speak her mind and express her feelings with regard to the president and various issues in this nation that concerns her.

That being said, there is a time and a place for everything. But out on the field while being watched by millions — including countless impressionable young fans who idolize her — and wearing the jersey of the nation you are protesting, simply isn’t good form.

Indeed, it is more than just a little hypocritical, ironic and perplexing that, in Rapinoe’s mind, President Trump and the U.S. are somehow terrible enough to warrant public protest on an international stage — but apparently not terrible enough for her to decline to wear the jersey and represent that nation in a top-tier international tournament.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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