United States Women’s national soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe, is making headlines this week, but not for anything she did on the pitch. No, the Olympian is making headlines for her political protests and stance on the current US government administration. In the past, Rapinoe has knelt during the United States National Anthem.
Now, in a recent interview she has expounded on those feelings.
“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” she said in a recent interview with Yahoo Sports. “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”
She continued, saying she was “a walking protest when it comes to the Trump administration,” because of “everything I stand for.” She added, “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. 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.”
Rapinoe, who is openly gay, said when she first started kneeling during the national anthem, “I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.” She was speaking in regards to NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s continuous protests during the national anthem.
Following several players kneeling, the United States Soccer Federation put a bylaw into place that asked all players to stand respectfully during the national anthem.
In the recent interview, Rapinoe said of that policy: “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.”
It’s clear that the controversy surrounding the national anthem, sports and high profile athletes is far from over.