by Sheri Urban
Last month, United States women’s national soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe told Yahoo Sports, “I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart” for the national anthem ever again.
At Tuesday’s World Cup match against Thailand, Rapinoe kept her word. The openly gay forward refused to put her hand over her heart and sing along to the national anthem, which was apparently a “F you” to “sexist,” “racist,” and “small-minded” President Donald Trump.
Rapinoe stood in silence as every other teammate on — ahem — Team USA saluted the flag and anthem of the USA.
During the Yahoo! Sports interview, Rapinoe proudly dubbed herself “a walking protest when it comes to the Trump administration” because of “everything” she “stands for,” hinting at her sexuality.
“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. 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,” she said.
“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,” added the soccer star.
The Internet was not pleased with Rapinoe’s move — viewing the protest as not a knock against Trump, but a hit against those who’ve selflessly sacrificed for her freedoms to, for example, protest the national anthem. In other words, Rapinoe’s American privilege was lost on her due to her blind hatred for Trump.
Here are some of the reactions following Rapinoe’s protest:
Nice win ladies. Don’t tell me how this ends up. I don’t care. Not watching. https://t.co/ofJ8DJAgp8— Robert J. O'Neill (@mchooyah) June 11, 2019
Another spoiled one that has no actual understanding or appreciation of what they have here, or what is takes to keep it. They can always go live in that perfect other country. Oh, that’s right, there is no such a thing as a perfect other country. https://t.co/JsEol8yMhD— Lee Culhane (@CulhaneLee) June 11, 2019
Rapinoe began kneeling during the anthem in 2016. “I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” the athlete claimed at the time.
Rapinoe was forced to drop the kneeling act after the United States Soccer Federation responded with a policy requiring the national team to “stand respectfully.”
“Our national anthem is an opportunity … to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played,” a statement from the organization said.
Despite publicly praising the United States and acknowledging that she will “respect” the standing policy, Rapinoe bashed the bylaw in May, telling Yahoo! Sports: “Using this blanketed patriotism as a defense against what the protest actually is was pretty cowardly. I think the NFL does it. I felt like the statement from U.S. Soccer, and then the rule they made without ever talking to me, that was the same as what the NFL was doing — just to not have the conversation, to try to just stop me from doing what I’m doing instead of at least having a conversation, and trying to figure out a [solution] that makes sense for everyone.”