Former U.S. women’s national team player Hope Solo turned social media upside down this week when she revealed during a podcast that she saw teammate Megan Rapinoe “almost bully” players into kneeling for the national anthem.
“I’ve seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way, but it’s our right as Americans to do it in whatever way we’re comfortable with,” Solo said on “All of US: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show.”
The former goalie described kneeling as “very divisive.”
However, the timeline of Solo’s accusations are not adding it up as many have pointed out that Rapinoe began kneeling during Seattle Reign games in September 2016 in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. The USWNT terminated Solo’s contract in August 2016 after she called the Sweden’s Olympic team “a bunch of cowards” following a penalty shoot-out loss.
She was also Rapinoe’s teammate on the Reign at the time, but left the team for “personal leave” following her national team suspension.
Solo never played for the USWNT or an NWSL team after the 2016 Olympics. As you noticed by her comments above, she said she “seen” as if she had firsthand knowledge of it happening.
Rapinoe was also the first white athlete to follow Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest against racism and discrimination.
The team had received criticism at the start of the Olympics when players knelt before their match against Sweden, which the U.S. lost 3-0. Their rocky start ended with a bronze medal after the team beat Australia, 4-3, to finish in third place.
Time magazine ranked Rapinoe as one of the 100 most influential people of 2020 due to her impact on and “beyond the pitch.”