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Hope Solo Claims Megan Rapinoe Would ‘Bully’ US Soccer Teammates into Kneeling: It ‘Can Be Very Divisive’

Mediaite logo Mediaite 8/16/2021 Brandon Contes
Hope Solo holding a football ball: USWNT © Provided by Mediaite USWNT

VANCOUVER, BC – JULY 05: Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States of America celebrates after her third goal against Japan with goalkeeper Hope Solo #1 and Megan Rapinoe #15 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Members of the US women’s national soccer team have been outspoken on social issues in recent years, at times taking a knee during the national anthem in an attempt to further their cause.

Kneeling during the anthem has been a divisive issue for the country, but according to former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo, it can be contentious for the players as well.

“I think the rhetoric surrounding this team has been both divisive and inclusive. I guess it’s kind of where we are in politics in this day and age,” Solo told Goal on All of Us: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show.

“Right now what I’ve seen is there’s been so much debate about the kneeling, about the not kneeling. I know most people stand against discrimination,” Solo added. “And I live in the south, I live in a very conservative area here in North Carolina in the south. Obviously I have friends on both sides of the aisle, but I think the kneeling thing can be very divisive.”

Competing forms of patriotism within the United States caused many to follow former president Donald Trump in cheering the USWNT for their losses at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Ultimately, the USWNT earned a bronze medal in Tokyo and while few athletes will feel shame in the feat, it was widely considered an underwhelming performance.

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Instead of congratulating them on their success, Trump used their bronze win as an opportunity to mock the USWNT for failing to achieve gold, ridiculing them as “leftist maniacs” and “wokesters.” Trump specifically called out Megan Rapinoe as the “woman with the purple hair,” who he loathed after she led the team in boycotting a visit to the White House following their 2019 World Cup win.

“It’s tough,” Solo told Goal. “I’ve seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way. But it’s our right as Americans to do it whatever way we’re comfortable with and I think that’s really hard being on the main stage right now with so many political issues for athletes. There’s a lot of pressure and ultimately at the end of the day our number one focus should and has always been to win first.”

Solo noted that on most issues, the team remained unified, especially their fight for equal pay. Other causes the team has used its platform to further include racial justice, gender equality and LGBTQ rights.

The post Hope Solo Claims Megan Rapinoe Would ‘Bully’ US Soccer Teammates into Kneeling: It ‘Can Be Very Divisive’ first appeared on Mediaite.

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