President Donald Trump said Monday that he doesn’t believe it’s appropriate for U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe to protest during the national anthem, as she has in the years leading up to, and including, the World Cup.
“No, I don’t think so,” Trump told The Hill.
Rapinoe, who scored two goals Monday in the United States’ 2-1 win over Spain in the World Cup, previously kneeled during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016, before the U.S. Soccer Federation passed a rule requiring all players and staff to stand. More recently, the 33-year-old has declined to sing the song or put her hand over her heart while it is played before games.
While it is relatively common for athletes across sports — and fans in the bleachers — to choose not to sing along with the national anthem or put their hands over the hearts, Rapinoe has characterized her actions as a means of protest. She explained to Yahoo! Sports that she still views the pregame rendition of the song as a “somber moment” for a “peaceful protest.”
“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” she told the news outlet in a story published last month. “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”
Rapinoe also described herself to Yahoo! Sports as “a walking protest” to President Trump’s policies, calling him “sexist,” “racist” and “not a good person,” among other things.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Tom Schad