Rapinoe's decision to abstain from singing the national anthem is a protest against racism and inequality, and an attempt to send a message directly to the President. She also did this in solidarity of NFL star Colin Kaepernick who took the knee during the national anthem to protest the same.
Megan Rapinoe made enough headlines before the World Cup finals on Saturday between USWNT and the Netherlands. Despite having sustained a hamstring injury during the quarterfinals, the captain delivered quite a strong performance and led the US women's soccer team to victory. The 34-year-old forward player is known for her fiery movements in the field and off it as well, and according to Daily Mail, she told a reporter last month that she would not be "going anywhere near the f***ing White House" if her team was crowned World Cup champions for a record fourth time.
Now, in what can only be branded as her latest protest against President Trump, someone she has previously addressed as a "racist" and a "misogynist", Rapinoe refused to sing along to the national anthem. She was seen standing emotionless with her hands held behind her back and her lips motionless. This is reportedly not the first time that the soccer star has chosen not to sing along to The Star-Spangled Banner.
She has not taken part in the anthem at all for the last three years. Rapinoe is understood to be standing in solidarity with NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who famously took the knee during the national anthem in protest against racism. Rapinoe explained her decision to abstain from singing the national anthem as a protest to racism and inequality, as well as an attempt to send a message directly to the President.
"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 told Yahoo Sports.
Her latest remarks against Trump came just before Saturday's landmark victory when she claimed: "not many if any" of her teammates would accept an invitation to the White House if they won the tournament. Previously, as a response to Rapinoe, Trump had tweeted: I am a big fan of the American Team and Women's Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!
And, on Saturday, Megan Rapinoe did exactly what Trump asked her to! She played a pivotal role in USWNT’s exceptional 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. She successfully scored a penalty kick just after the hour mark, after which Rose LaValle sealed the victory with a second goal merely eight minutes later, in the 69th minute. Now, this is how you show someone how you "finish the job", I guess.
Surprisingly, the first person to congratulate the team for their glorious win was none other than First Lady Melania Trump. Congratulations to 2019 Women’s World Cup Champions @TeamUSA! she tweeted on Saturday. A couple of hours later, her husband, the President tweeted, congratulating the team for their victory. He wrote: Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!
Even with all the controversy surrounding her, Megan Rapinoe's performance in the World Cup has been stellar! She managed to score five goals before she was forced to sit out of the semi-finals due to a hamstring injury. "We're crazy," Rapinoe commented after winning the World Cup title. "That's what makes us special." Fox play-by-play announcer Glenn Davis got one thing right as he said: "You're looking at one of the greatest teams in sports history."