Megan Rapinoe sat out of the United States women’s national team’s semifinal match against England in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Despite not taking the field, the USWNT co-captain remains in the headlines thanks to her ongoing protests during the national anthem while playing in France.
Rapinoe’s protests have led to questions about her patriotism from critics.
The 33-year-old star has since responded to the criticism while speaking to the press during media availability on Wednesday, July 3 as she explained what it means to her to represent the United States on such a big stage.
““I think that I’m particularly and uniquely and very deeply American. If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, the song and the anthem, and what we were founded on, I think I’m extremely American. I think for the detractors, I would have them look hard into what I’m actually saying, the actions that I’m doing, maybe you don’t agree with every single way that I do it and that can be discussed. I know that I’m not perfect. But I think that I stand for honesty and for truth and for wanting to have the conversation,” Rapinoe said, via The Athletic’s Meg Linehan.
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) July 3, 2019
“Looking at the country honestly and saying, easy, we are a great country, and there are many things that are so amazing and I feel very fortunate to be in this country. I would never be able to do this in a lot of other places. But also: that doesn’t mean that we can’t get better. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t always strive to be better. I think that this country was founded on a lot of good ideals, but it was also founded on slavery. And I think we just need to be really honest about that, and be really open in talking about that so we can reconcile that and hopefully move forward and make this country better for everyone.”
While people may be questioning Rapinoe on the field, you can’t deny what she is giving to her country and team when she’s on the pitch. Rapinoe is currently in contention for the Gold Boot at the World Cup with five goals in the tournament.
And in even better news, Rapinoe believes she will be fully healed from her hamstring injury in time for Sunday, July 7’s championship match.
Following the USWNT’s win over England in the World Cup semifinal, the United States is now waiting for the winner of the Netherlands vs. Sweden semifinal match on Wednesday, July 3. The USWNT and winner of Wednesday’s game will then face off in the World Cup Final on Sunday, July 7. England, meanwhile, will be taking on the loser of Netherlands vs. Sweden a day prior in the third-place game.