Athletes, Authors, Influencers and Activists in Solidarity with Megan Rapinoe against Trump’s Attacks

We, the undersigned, are writing to express our solidarity with Megan Rapinoe against the attacks by President Trump—and the hatred he has unleashed—because of her bold stand for social justice.

Megan Rapinoe is not only one of the greatest soccer players in U.S. history, but she is also one of the most courageous in her pursuit of social justice. As co-captain of the U.S. National team, Megan helped propel the team to victory in the 2015 World Cup, to the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, and is leading another deep run of the team in the 2019 World Cup in France.

While she is one of the toughest competitors the game has ever known, as a leading member of Athletes for Impact, she is just as fierce when it comes to standing for human rights. Rapinoe was the first white athlete to kneel during the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and against intuitional racism. As she explained at the time, her protest was also about defending LGBTQ rights, saying,

Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it.

Since then, the US Soccer Federation mandated that all players stand for the anthem—apparently not realizing the irony of compulsory expressions of freedom. Rapinoe has complied with this rule during the World Cup, but has stated that she won’t sing the anthem or put her hand on her heart—at least not until we truly live in a free land with equal rights for all.

After scoring both goals in the U.S. team’s 2-1 win over Spain, Rapinoe was asked by EightByEight magazine if she would go to the White House if they won the Cup. She responded with passion against a very vulgar president saying, “I’m not going to the f—— White House.” Trump then lashed out at Rapinoe with series of attacking tweets saying, “Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag…”

It is wholly inappropriate for the President of the United States to use his power to attempt to curb Rapinoe’s freedom of speech and outrageous that now she has to suffer the online vitriol of those who oppose social justice. We recognize Megan Rapinoe’s right to protest injustice during the anthem and stand with her in the struggle for LGBTQ rights, gender and racial justice.

Sincerely,
Athletes for Impact

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