Megan Rapinoe asserts that she and her fellow team members indeed have love for their country, amidst the ongoing controversy concerning the national anthem.
During the 2023 World Cup, the USWNT’s participation sparked a significant amount of debate. Prior to their match against Sweden, six players chose not to sing the national anthem, which led to a series of discussions.
The team ultimately lost that match in a penalty shootout. Megyn Kelly, a TV personality, attributed the anthem snub to Rapinoe, claiming that she had negatively influenced her teammates’ sentiments towards their country. However, Rapinoe maintains that this is not the case.
Speaking to The Atlantic, having now retired from international football, she said: “I’ll miss being able to represent our country. I think, a lot of times, that gets lost, when people talk about me in particular: ‘Oh, you guys don’t sing the anthem, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You don’t love America.’
“But we do love America. It’s just more in a James Baldwin kind of way, not in a bald-eagle-on-your-shoulder kind of way.”
The mention of Baldwin, a prominent writer and speaker during the civil rights movement, aligns with Rapinoe‘s consistent stand on various matters.
She has notably knelt during the national anthem in protest and has engaged in an ongoing public dispute on social media with former president Donald Trump. Trump specifically targeted her with criticism following the loss to Sweden.