Soccer star Megan Rapinoe has vowed to continue her national anthem protests while representing the US in next month’s Women’s World Cup — calling it a “good ‘F you’” to the Trump administration.
“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” the 33-year-old national co-captain told Yahoo sports. “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”
Rapinoe, who already sparked outrage by taking a knee during the anthem, does not hide her desire to shock while wearing the US team jersey during the tournament in France, starting in June.
“I feel like I’m a walking protest,” she told the site.
“I feel like it’s kind of defiance in and of itself to just be who I am and wear the jersey, and represent it.
“Because I’m as talented as I am, I get to be here, you don’t get to tell me if I can be here or not.
“So it’s kind of a good ‘F you’ to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have towards people who don’t look exactly like him.
“Which, God help us if we all looked like him. Scary. Really scary. Ahh, disturbing.”
The sportswoman says she had an “awakening” when “things got kind of nasty” in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.
She became the first white athlete and first female athlete to follow Colin Kaepernick’s lead in taking a knee, just days after he started the protest on Sept. 1, 2016.
“Colin Kaepernick very much inspired me, and inspired an entire nation, and still does, to actually think about these things,” she told Yahoo.
“The way he spoke about them so clearly, so matter-of-fact, wasn’t trying to convince anyone. Just, ‘This is what is happening, this is what I’m willing to do about it.’”