Hope Solo, the former goalie for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, said during an interview on Tuesday that her teammate Megan Rapinoe would resort to bullying tactics to coerce the other players into kneeling during the National Anthem, Fox News reports.
“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 on the podcast “All of US: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show.” However, Solo noted, “it’s our right as Americans to do it in whatever way we’re comfortable with,” before going on to describe the kneeling phenomenon as “very divisive.”
For this reason, Solo said she was relieved when the National Anthem was removed from the beginning of the game “to really remove that decision from athletes, because that’s very tough.”
“I think it’s really hard being on the main stage right now, with so many political issues for athletes,” Solo continued. “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.”
Rapinoe, a far-left radical activist, has faced widespread criticism for leading a kneeling effort on the soccer team every time the National Anthem is played, in a display of her anti-American beliefs. She was critical of President Donald Trump and voiced her support for Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who started the entire kneeling trend in 2016; both Rapinoe and Kaepernick said that they were kneeling in protest of “systemic racism,” the debunked notion that America is an inherently racist nation, as well as the false claims of policy brutality against black Americans.
In the most recent Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the U.S. women’s soccer team lost to Sweden by a staggering 3-0 margin, thus breaking their winning streak of 44 games in a row. They then went on to lose to Canada 1-0, knocking the team out of the semifinals, before narrowly defeating Australia by a 4-3 margin to claim the bronze medal.