Former United States women’s national team goalie Hope Solo made some strong accusations against former teammate Megan Rapinoe.
Solo, the national team’s goalie from 2000-16, said that she witnessed Rapinoe “almost bullying” her teammates into kneeling for the national anthem.
Rapinoe began kneeling for the national anthem in 2016, as part of Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustices and social inequalities. As the years have gone on, many of her teammates have joined her in kneeling.
Solo told Goal that Rapinoe pushed strongly for her teammates to join her.
“It’s tough,” Solo told Goal. “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 whatever way we’re comfortable with, and I think that’s really hard being on the main stage right now with so many political issues for athletes. There’s a lot of pressure, and ultimately, at the end of the day, our number one focus should and has always been to win first.”
Solo last played for the United States women’s national team in 2016. Rapinoe began kneeling for the national anthem that year.
It’s unclear if Solo personally witnessed Rapinoe “bullying” her teammates into kneeling, or if she’s sharing what she’s been told by her former teammates.