The US Women’s National Team made a stunning decision to bench their co-captain Megan Rapinoe ahead of the World Cup semi-final which many saw as karma.
While the United States will move into the Women’s World Cup final after the 2-1 victory over England on Tuesday, speculation ran rampant about why the soccer star was not starting for her team just days after her profane rant against President Trump.
The midfielder for the US Women’s National soccer team, who sparked controversy after taking a knee during the national anthem, was seen at the Stade de Lyon in France but did not warm up with her team. Coach Jill Ellis did not indicate that the move was disciplinary, confirming instead that Rapinoe had a hamstring strain, according to CNN.
“I feel we have a deep bench and called upon another player and thought they did a fantastic job,” Ellis said, explaining why the unexpected decision wasn’t announced.
“There was an outside chance that Rapinoe could take a penalty, so we didn’t want to extend ourselves more than we had to,” Ellis said. “Fortunately, we didn’t have to go to penalty kicks, but that was an option.”
But ahead of the game, the team’s tweet revealing the lineup did not include Rapinoe raised eyebrows especially in light of her national anthem protests, which she called a “good ‘F you’” to the Trump administration.
OH WHEN THE YANKS…
Lineups Notes: https://t.co/wg1Ha9BIcU#OneNationOneTeam pic.twitter.com/zzVufCgvCX
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 2, 2019
When asked last week about the team visiting the White House if they win the World Cup, Rapinoe said she was “not going to the f—ing White House,” prompting a response from President Trump who noted the team had not even yet been invited.
“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear, Trump tweeted.
Trump puts disrespectful kneeling US soccer star in her place for saying ‘I’m not going to the f—ing White House’ https://t.co/y7psfMungY
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 26, 2019
Many wondered if the gay player’s political grandstanding was behind the decision to bench her and were glad to see the consequences.
@USWNT Happy about Press starting! @mPinoe has become way too political and when someone wears the USA flag they should represent ALL AMERICANS not a select group / few!!! She should stop be pushing her own political agenda using the #USA platform & keep it pure #soccer
— Gregory Binsfeld (@binsfeldme) July 2, 2019
No Rampinoe in starting lineup?? Great. Tired of her political rhetoric on the world stage representing the US. #StandfortheFlag #StandfortheAnthem
— Deplorable Nationalist Mike G??? (@theoriginalgooz) July 2, 2019
Hopefully she is not playing because of the way she has spit in the face of the United States of America.. What a disgrace to have our nation represented by her and anyone who agrees with her!!!
— James Royston (@st12medic) July 2, 2019
Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera lamented the divisive politics that has permeated sports teams and how the U.S. no longer has “unifying moments” the rally around.
“We do not have unifying moments anymore. Look right now what is happening,” Rivera said in a discussion on Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday.
(Video: Fox News)
“We have our women’s soccer team in the World Cup, they are going to the finals for the third year in a row. Under ordinary circumstances we would be right on, we would be watching in the bars, high-fiving and back-slapping each other,” Rivera continued.
“But because someone asked Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the team whether she would visit the White House if they won the World Cup, she said no, because she opposes Trump’s policy,” Rivera said.
“So the performance of our national team in the World Cup, something we should all be extolling, their virtue and our kids should be watching and wanting to play like they play, instead it becomes do you like Trump, you don’t like Trump, you can visit the White House, you’re not going to visit the White House,” Rivera complained.
“It’s melancholy. It’s sad,” Rivera added. “I am objectively speaking: the country is doing great.”
He went on to note the strong economy, record low unemployment and historic accomplishments by Trump such as crossing the border into North Korea. But, Rivera argued, the left’s relentless hatred of the president has affected the very patriotism that makes America so great.
“This hatred of Donald Trump is so intense that he becomes the synonym for the nation. I think it is very distressing,” Rivera said. “People should get over themselves.”
“As a kid you watched those Fourth of July parades and you get a tear in your eye watching the old veterans,” he concluded. “It’s a wonderful, life-affirming moment and here we are making it a bunch of crap.”
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