While the US women’s football team reel over their 13-0 victory against Thailand in France last night, the team is making headlines for a different reason, and it’s all kinds of incredible.
Not only did midfielder Megan Rapinoe appear on the scoresheet in the biggest ever win in World Cup history, she also gave a massive ‘fuck you’ to President Trump by refusing to sing the national anthem.
The 33-year-old stood stony-faced and silent while her teammates sang along to the Star-Spangled Banner in a poignant stand against Trump’s stance to minorities.
LGBTQ+ activist Rapinoe previously said she would ‘probably never sing the national anthem again’, but her position has provoked mixed responses from football fans.
One disgruntled fan tweeted: ‘Megan Rapinoe needs to be booted for her lack of patriotism. Why play for a country you hate,’ while another added: ‘So weird to have a scowl while your national anthem, the one that gave you the freedom to pretty much actually PLAY this game.’
However, others praised the midfielder, with one writing: ‘Megan Rapinoe is not singing the anthem (because she’s not allowed to kneel) and I love her so much it hurts.’
Another added: ‘Goof for her! That is her right! Just like it is my right to not watch or cheer for spoiled rotten unpatriotic and unappreciative people like her who play on our National Team and are supported by my taxes.’
Speaking of her decision not to join in on the national anthem last month, Rapinoe told Yahoo Sports:
I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart. I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.
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.
The 33-year-old sportswoman has already declined the customary invite to the White House to see President Trump if the US women’s football team wins the World Cup.
She told Sports Illustrated in May:
I am not going to fake it, hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am for and so many of the things that I actually am.
I have no interest in extending our platform to him.
With Pride month well underway, it’s the perfect time for Rapinoe to exercise her rights in representing the LGBTQ+ and other oppressed communities.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.