Enrichment Arts & Culture

Teammate of soccer star Megan Rapinoe accuses her of ‘bullying’ team into kneeling for anthem

Story at a glance

  • Former U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo accused Megan Rapinoe of bullying teammates into kneeling before games.
  • Members of the USWNT, including Rapinoe, periodically kneeled before matches, signaling solidarity with others fighting inequality.
  • “I think the rhetoric surrounding this team has been both divisive and inclusive,” Solo added.

Former U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) goalkeeper Hope Solo accused Megan Rapinoe of bullying teammates into participating in pre-game political activism. 

“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.com.

“I think the kneeling thing can be very divisive,” Solo continued. “I’ve seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way.”


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Members of the USWNT, including Rapinoe, periodically kneeled before matches, signaling solidarity with others fighting inequality. The team joined Great Britain, Chile, Sweden and New Zealand by taking a pre-match knee prior to their first Olympic contests. 

However, Solo reportedly left the USWNT around a month before Rapinoe first took a knee in solidarity with former National Football League quarter back Colin Kaepernick. 

Rapinoe has also vocally backed equal pay in women’s sports and met with President Biden on Equal Pay Day in March to discuss the matter. 

“Despite all of the wins, I am still paid less than men who do the same job that I do. For each trophy — of which there are many — for each win, each tie and for each time that we play, it’s less,” she said on stage after the meeting.

The U.S. WNT took home the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, in a 4-3 victory over Australia. 


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Former President Trump slammed the USWNT after their bronze medal performance, arguing the highly touted soccer team could have taken home the coveted gold had their focus been on the game instead of politics. 

“If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of Leftist Maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the Gold Medal instead of the Bronze,” Trump said in a statement. 


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