- Rapinoe said in a 2019 interview that she would ‘never sing the anthem again’
- She was named captain for her final match ever for the Stars and Stripes
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Megan Rapinoe has not been singing the national anthem for years – a practice she started as part of her protest against racial inequality. On Sunday, the last time she took the field for the United States, that didn’t change.
Rapinoe was named captain for the team and started for the United States in the final game of her illustrious and at times controversial career.
Her captaincy is partially an ode to her career coming to an end and it’s partially a formality: the USA almost always gives the armband to players celebrating their 200th cap, an accomplishment Rapinoe earned at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Walking out onto the pitch at Chicago’s Soldier Field, Rapinoe had a moment of honor before the crowd where her immediate family and her fiancée – retired WNBA legend Sue Bird – greeted her.
After the pomp and the circumstance, Rapinoe stood with a brave face and did not sing as the American national anthem played.
Megan Rapinoe stood silent as she captained the United States in her farewell match Sunday
It’s Rapinoe’s final match for the USA – the end of an illustrious and controversial career
She was honored before kickoff – being greeted by her family and her fiancée, Sue Bird
Very few of her teammates joined her – a practice that was been scrutinized extensively by conservative pundits and media across the country during this summer’s World Cup.
But that criticism was hardly ever heard when the US men’s team stayed stoic during their World Cup in 2022, nor was it voiced when the USA baseball team was silent at the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
Rather, a lot of that criticism has been voiced because of the activism of this team and, in particular, Rapinoe.
She previously said in an interview with Yahoo Sports in 2019 that she would ‘probably never sing the national anthem again’.
That’s in part due to her protests for racial equality – which included her becoming the first white athlete to kneel while it played.
Rapinoe initially made that decision in support of the protests being done by NFL player Colin Kaepernick.