More important – and mostly overlooked — than the US Women’s National Team winning its second straight World Cup with Sunday’s 2-0 win over the Netherlands was captain Megan Rapinoe’s disrespect of the National Anthem and avowed refusal to visit the White House for a photo op.
The publishers of Sports Illustrated smelled controversy, and hence money, and so chose Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn and Abby Dahlkemper for their annual swimsuit issue.
“Cheering for the #USWNT today and every day. Not just for what they represent on the field but what they represent for women. Period,” MJ Day, editor in chief of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, noted on Instagram. “Fighting to win not only a soccer game but a lot of other pretty f—ing important stuff as well,” Day posted. “Keep kicking ass ladies.”
Rapinoe has been as open about her loathing of America as she has about her homosexuality. She has knelt to protest what she claims is social inequality in the US, squawked incessantly about her life in the LGBTQ community, and even been a part of the lawsuit against the US soccer federation for equal pay. “I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” she told Yahoo Sports. “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”
“Colin Kaepernick very much inspired me, and inspired an entire nation, and still does, to actually think about these things,” she added to Yahoo Sports. “The way he spoke about them so clearly, so matter-of-fact, wasn’t trying to convince anyone. Just, ‘This is what is happening, this is what I’m willing to do about it.’ I found that extremely inspiring and convicting. Like, how can you not support?”
Saying controversial things is proving profitable for Rapinoe. “On the eve of the final, sitting in the same news conference position occupied by Infantino a day earlier, Rapinoe rebuked the head of soccer’s governing body for disrespecting women as the prize-money gulf widens with the winners of the men’s World Cups,” reported rochesterfirst.com. “Rapinoe chose not to confront Infantino on the field. “There was a wry smile, for sure,” she said. “He knows. He did say we’ll have a conversation or something. I said, ‘I’d love to.’”
She took time following her team’s victory to stereotype and bash straight female soccer players. “You can’t win a championship without gays on your team,” she said. “It’s never been done before, ever. That’s science, right there.”
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