Soccer Player Hope Solo Whines About Megan Rapinoe 'Almost' Bullying Teammates Into Kneeling
Solo said the idea of kneeling in protest can be "divisive."
August 17, 2021 at 3:36 pm
Former U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) soccer star Hope Solo said that her teammate Megan Rapinoe "almost bullied" their team to kneel during the playing of the national anthem, the Independent reports.
During an interview, Solo commented on the political tensions that arose on the team that led them to "take a knee.”
"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," she said. "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."
Rapinoe has been vocal in opposition to the Trump Administration and supportive of Black Lives Matter, equal pay for equal work and LGBTQ+ causes as the de facto leader of the U.S. Women’s National Team. According to Solo, however, Rapinoe went as far as to “bully” her teammates to join her in public protests.
”I’ve seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way,” Solo said.
"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,” she added.
This is not the first time that Solo has publically criticized Rapinoe. She slammed Rapinoe for turning down an equal pay opportunity in 2016, according to reports by the Sports Bible.
"We were so close to achieving equal pay in 2016; it was offered to us, we were about to sign the contract with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” she explained. “But Megan Rapinoe and the leaders of that team signed a less-than-equal CBA, which is concerning for the overall class-action suit and the overall fight."
Solo left the USWNT in 2016 when her contract was terminated for unsportsmanlike conduct after calling members of Sweden's team "cowards."