Megan Rapinoe shuts down critics: ‘I think I’m extremely American’

Megan Rapinoe has been no stranger to criticism during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, nor has she backed down from her fight.

On Wednesday, during the United States Women’s Team’s media availability, Rapinoe was asked about what it means to be American and what she would tell critics who say otherwise.

She shut down critics with her response.

“I think that I’m particularly and uniquely and very deeply American,” Rapinoe said. “If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, all the songs and the anthem and sort of what we were founded on, I think I’m extremely American.”

FRANCK FIFE / Getty Images

The US captain faced criticism when she said, “I’m not going to the f—— White House,” when asked if she would be attending in an interview from nearly six months ago.

President Donald Trump criticized her on Twitter, who said Rapinoe should “win before she talks.” In her response, she stood by her statement and said the only thing she regretted was using profanity.

She faced criticism when she, along with the rest of the team, continued to celebrate each goal in their 13-0 rout of Thailand in their opening match.

As a result, Rapinoe has frequently been called “Un-American” by critics throughout this year’s Cup. She also supported Colin Kaepernick by protesting the national anthem in 2016 to stand up against police brutality and racial injustice.

She’s an advocate for LGBTQ rights and gender discrimination. She is part of the group of players who filed an equal pay lawsuit against US Soccer in March 2019.

As her girlfriend and WNBA player Sue Bird wrote in an article she penned for The Player’s Tribune, Rapinoe has been “completely unfazed” by the criticism that has come her way.

“Maybe you don’t agree with every single way that I do it, and that can be discussed,” she said. “I know that I’m not perfect.

“But I think I stand for honesty, for truth and for wanting to have the conversation. And for looking at the country honestly and saying, yes, we are a great country, and there are many things that are so amazing — and I feel very fortunate to be in this country.

“But also, that doesn’t mean that we can’t get better. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t always strive to be better. I think that this country was founded on a lot of great 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.”

Rapinoe has primarily placed her focus on every game of the tournament, rather than the politics. She’s addressed certain things briefly to the press, such as her White House comment. With the US in the final, Wednesday was the most she has spoken on the criticism.

Rapinoe has scored five goals for the US so far. She was benched during Tuesday’s semi-final against England due to a minor hamstring strain. She intends on playing on Sunday when the US faces either the Netherlands or Sweden in the championship match when the team looks to cap things off with another title.

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