Megan Rapinoe refused to sing national anthem at World Cup final as she continues to stand in solidarity with NFL star Colin Kaepernick
The USWNT captain had said 'not many, if any' of her teammates would accept President Trump's invitation if they won the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup
Megan Rapinoe was already making headlines before the whistle blew on Saturday to kick off the World Cup final between USWNT and the Netherlands. Despite sustaining a hamstring injury in the quarterfinals, the US soccer star delivered a memorable performance and lead her team into a stunning victory.
While the 34-year-old forward is renowned for her razor-sharp movement on the field, she has also made a name off it. Last month, she told a reporter she would not be 'going anywhere near the f***ing White House' if her team was crowned World Cup champions for a record fourth time, Daily Mail reports.
In her continuing protest against the Trump administration, Rapinoe refused to sing the national anthem before the game and stood nonchalantly with her hands behind her back.
This is barely the first time Rapinoe—who has branded the president a 'racist' and a 'misogynist'—has opted out of reciting The Star Spangled Banner. She has remained steadfast in her decision to not sing the anthem for the past three years.
In fact, she got onboard former NFL player Colin Kaepernick's take-a-knee movement through much of 2016, and chose to kneel before every match. However, this was only until the US Soccer Federation enforced a new rule requiring players to stand.
"Because I’m as talented as I am, I get to be here, you don’t get to tell me if I can be here or not," Rapinoe told Yahoo Sports earlier this week. "So it’s kind of a good ‘F you’ to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have towards people who don’t look exactly like him."
The firebrand's latest assault against Trump came just before Saturday's landmark victory, when she claimed 'not many, if any' of her teammates would accept an invitation to the White House if they won the tournament.
In a previous response to Rapinoe, Trump had tweeted: "I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women's Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!"
And on Saturday, Rapinoe did just that, playing a key role in the USWNT’s exceptional 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. She successfully scored a penalty kick just after the hour mark, after which Rose LaValle sealed the victory with a second goal just eight minutes later, in the 69th minute.
That said, one of the first to congratulate the team for their emphatic win was First Lady Melania Trump. "Congratulations to 2019 Women’s World Cup Champions @TeamUSA!" she tweeted on Saturday.
The commander-in-chief tweeted a couple of hours later, offering warm applause to the team's milestone achievement.
"Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!" he wrote.
That said, the self-proclaimed 'walking protest' to the president has been delivering outstanding performances throughout the tournament, scoring five goals before she was forced to sit out of the semi-finals due to a hamstring injury.
"We're crazy," Rapinoe commented after winning the World Cup title. "That's what makes us special."