Former USA goalkeeper Hope has accused star midfield player and outspoken political activist, Megan Rapinoe, of “almost bullying” her own teammates to take the knee during international matches.
Solo’s comments come after Rapinoe, and the entire USA Olympics team, received heavy criticism for their underwhelming performances at the Tokyo Olympics.
Solo claims that she has witnessed Rapinoe trying to force her teammates to take the knee with her, when the activist began taking the knee during USA matches back in 2016, although that was a month after Solo’s international career came to an end.
Her claims are yet to be verified, but many critics of Rapinoe and performative activist athletes share the same view.
Solo made the comments to Goal’s women’s football podcast show and was quizzed by the presenter regarding her thoughts on Rapinoe’s activism and the team’s performance in Tokyo.
She initially stated that it was “tough” to express her thoughts fully, before making the claim that she had witnessed Rapinoe “almost bullying” players to take the knee.
She stated that every player, as an American, had the right to behave in whatever way they felt comfortable with, underlining the fact that political issues have started to infect the world of sport.
She stated that the number one priority of all athletes is to win and that some political gestures may cause rifts within teams.
Solo used this point to back up her thoughts regarding the performances of Rapinoe and her teammates at the Tokyo Olympics, with the women’s team only able to collect a bronze medal.
She stated that she keeps in regular contact with numerous players, implying that many of the players were affected by the increase of political activism within the team, which then led to their poor showing at the Olympics.
She explained that she texted many of her ex-teammates to check in with them throughout the tournament, before stating the atmosphere throughout the squad was “pretty low.”
Solo then doubled down on this, claiming that atmosphere was even worse when the players realized they were no longer able to win the Gold medal.
Then she went onto claim that many players were shocked after their defeat to Canada in the semi-finals, before going on to state that the tournament was a failure for the team, as they want to win gold at every competition they compete in.
The former goalkeeper never elaborated on how she had witnessed Rapinoe bullying players during her time with the national team, yet her interaction with the players appears to provide some evidence of discontent within the players as Rapinoe, and others, continue to engage in performative activism.