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Trump Responds to USWNT Star Megan Rapinoe's World Cup Anthem Protests

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Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. women’s soccer team has been using her World Cup platform in political protest.

Players are required to stand during the national anthem — a rule instituted after Rapinoe started kneeling for the anthem in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — but she has refused to sing the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” or put her hand over her heart.

Rapinoe has said that her protest is an “F you” to President Donald Trump and his administration.

Needless to say, Trump is not a big fan of her actions either.

In an interview with The Hill on Monday, the president was asked if Rapinoe’s protest during the national anthem is appropriate.

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“No, I don’t think so,” he said.

Although Trump doesn’t approve of Rapinoe’s actions, he said he is a fan of the U.S. women’s team.

“I love watching women’s soccer,” the president told The Hill. “They’re really talented.”

Over the past two years, Trump has been a big proponent of players standing during the national anthem, especially in the NFL.

Do you agree with President Trump that Megan Rapinoe's anthem protests are inappropriate?

“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” he tweeted last year. “Numerous players, from different teams wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love.

“Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”

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In September 2016, Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem prior to one of her games as a member of the Seattle Reign.

She said she did it to show support for then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick, who started the league’s anthem protest movement.

“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” she told reporters at the time. “It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it.

“It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”

Even though anthem protests are always controversial and divisive, there is a difference between protests when playing for a private team versus the U.S. national team.

The players on the latter are representing the country on an international stage and are supposed to be proud of that honor — not denigrate what it means to be an American.

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Tom is a freelance writer from Massachusetts' South Shore. He covers sports, culture and politics and has written for The Washington Examiner, LifeZette and other outlets.
Tom is a freelance writer from Massachusetts' South Shore. He covers sports, culture and politics and has written for The Washington Examiner, LifeZette and other outlets.
Location
Massachusetts
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports, culture, politics




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