Women's World Cup: Donald Trump hits out at US star for not singing national anthem

By Mirror: Tuesday, June 25th 2019 at 20:19 GMT +3 | Football
Rapinoe (far left) chooses not to sing the anthem [Courtesy]

United States president Donald Trump has criticised US star Megan Rapinoe for not singing the national anthem at the Women's World Cup.

Rapinoe - one of three co-captains of the side - scored two penalties as the US beat Spain 2-1 in the last-16 of the competition in Reims on Monday, and they'll now face hosts France in the quarter-finals in Paris on Friday.

But she drew criticism from Trump for deciding not to sing the anthem, something she does to show solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the 'The Star Spangled Banner' to highlight social inequality in America.

Rapinoe 'took a knee' before a game in 2016, after which the US Soccer Federation introduced a rule demanding all players stand during the anthem, so she has chosen to protest in a different way in France.

Trump criticised Rapinoe's protest [Courtesy]

US publication The Hill asked Trump if he thought Rapinoe's actions were appropriate on Monday, to which he replied: "No. I don't think so."

Speaking about her decision to take a knee in 2016, Rapinoe said: "Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.

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"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."

Trump was also asked about the possibility of male and female footballers receiving equal pay.

"I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics," he said.

Rapinoe scored two penalties against Spain [Reuters]

"I mean who draws more, where is the money coming in. I know that when you have the great stars like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and some of these stars that get paid a lot of money, but they draw hundreds of thousands of people.

"But I haven’t taken a position on that at all. I’d have to look at it."

Trump also praised the US team for their efforts in France.

"I love watching women's soccer," he said.

"They’re really talented."

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