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Hope Solo has revealed that Megan Rapinoe was so passionate about taking a stand against racial injustices and police brutality that she would "almost bully" her USA teammates into kneeling during the national anthem.
Speaking on the 'All of US: The U.S. Women's Soccer Show' podcast, legendary former goalkeeper Solo had her say on former president Donald Trump's recent claims that "leftist maniacs" and "wokesters" ultimately cost the women's national team a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Solo also gave an insight into the political debates that occurred between the players on the team, while admitting that taking a knee during the national anthem can often be contentious in her eyes.
"Right now what I've seen is there's been so much debate about the kneeling, about the not kneeling. I know most people stand against discrimination," Solo said.
"And I live in the south, I live in a very conservative area here in North Carolina in the south. Obviously I have friends on both sides of the aisle, but I think the kneeling thing can be very divisive. I do appreciate the fact that there's no national anthem right before the game. To really remove that decision from the athletes. Because that's very tough, it's tough.
"I've seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way. But it's our right as Americans to do it in whatever way we're comfortable with and I think that's really hard being on the main stage right now with so many political issues for athletes. There's a lot of pressure and ultimately at the end of the day our number one focus should and has always been to win first."
As a two-time Olympic gold medallist and World Cup winner, Solo's remarks about her ex-teammate come as a shock to some.
Her comments come not long after the former president had his say on the matter, publicly slamming the team for falling short of a gold medal in Tokyo.
"If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of leftist maniacs, wasn't woke, they would have won the gold medal instead of the bronze," Trump said in a statement.
"Woke means you lose, everything that is woke goes bad, and our soccer team certainly has. There were, however, a few patriots standing.
"Unfortunately, they need more than that respecting our country and national anthem. They should replace the wokesters with patriots and start winning again.
"The woman with the purple hair played terribly and spends too much time thinking about radical left politics and not doing her job!"
And by referring to her as "the woman with the purple hair", it was clear that Trump was mainly talking about 36-year-old Rapinoe.
Trump and Rapinoe have had their fair share of run-ins down the years and have never shied away from trading barbs with each other.
So when Rapinoe heard Trump's comments in the wake of the Olympic Games, she didn't take too long to respond.
"It's a real sad dig into an old bag," she said via The Hill.
"I'm just like, 'You're rooting for people to do bad?' Yikes."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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