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US Soccer Player Rushes To Pick Up Flag After Teammate Drops It During World Cup Celebration

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All of the political sturm und drang regarding the U.S. women’s soccer team dissolved into pure patriotism Sunday as the American squad beat the Netherlands in Lyon, France, to secure another Women’s World Cup title.

And, in a moment when that patriotism could have been sabotaged by controversy, one player stepped in to save the day.

As you’re probably aware, much of the coverage of the tournament centered on American star Megan Rapinoe and her dislike of President Donald Trump. In a viral clip that popped up in June but was filmed months earlier, Rapinoe told a reporter, “I am not going to the f–-ing White House” if the team won.

As Time noted, the U.S. star “also stood stoic during the national anthem, declining to put her hand over her heart or sing the song.” Needless to say, controversy was had.

Rapinoe ended up scoring the first goal on a penalty kick Sunday midway through the second half. Rose Lavelle would add a goal in the 69th minute to secure the victory.

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During the celebrations, however, things got controversial again in a hurry:

The video — which Benghazi hero Jonathan Gilliam posted — shows Rapinoe and teammate Allie Long in front of the American flag, which was placed on the ground by Long.

Did you watch the World Cup final?

Fellow player Kelly O’Hara quickly grabbed the flag.

“You should be disturbed by this unpatriotic narcissistic behavior,” Gilliam wrote. “[Megan Rapinoe] is neither a hero or a role model. I rewound and watched the entire celebration on the field. Rapinoe didn’t want anything to do with an #Americanflag before she stomped it. #repulsive”

Others shared similar sentiments:

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However, as one person noted, this was likely a mistake in the heat of the moment by Long, who originally dropped the flag:

And, of course, there was praise for O’Hara:

I think in the heat of the moment, Long — in fact, most people — deserve the benefit of the doubt. The situation was exhilarating. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And she had a teammate who had the situational awareness to pick up the flag, though she was a bit woozy — as those of you who watch the game could attest.

Props to Kelly O’Hara for turning what could have been an ugly moment into one we could feel good about. Our hats are off to you, ma’am.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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