- Rapinoe said in a 2019 interview that she would ‘never sing the national anthem again’
- She was named captain for her last ever match for the Stars and Stripes
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Megan Rapinoe hasn’t sang the national anthem in years — a practice she started as part of her protest against racial inequality. That didn’t change on Sunday, the last time she took the field for the United States.
Rapinoe was named captain of the team and started for the United States in the final game of her illustrious and sometimes controversial career.
Her captaincy is part tribute to the end of her career and part formality: The U.S. almost always gives the armband to players celebrating their 200th cap, a feat Rapinoe earned at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
When Rapinoe took the court at Soldier Field in Chicago, she had a moment of honor in front of the crowd where her immediate family and her fiancé — retired WNBA legend Sue Bird — greeted her.
After all the pomp and circumstance, Rapinoe stood with a brave face and did not sing as the American national anthem played.
Megan Rapinoe stood still as she captained the United States in her farewell match on Sunday
It is Rapinoe’s last game for the US – the end of an illustrious and controversial career
She was honored before kickoff and was greeted by her family and her fiancé, Sue Bird
Very few of her teammates joined her – a practice that came under extensive scrutiny from conservative pundits and media across the country during this summer’s World Cup.
But that criticism was barely heard when the U.S. men’s team remained stoic during the 2022 World Cup, nor when the U.S. baseball team remained silent during the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
Much of that criticism has been leveled before because of the activism of this team and Rapinoe in particular.
She previously said in a 2019 interview with Yahoo Sports that she would “probably never sing the national anthem again.”
That’s partly due to her protests for racial equality, which included becoming the first white athlete to kneel while playing.
Rapinoe initially made that decision in support of the protests of NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
In her last match against the United States, Rapinoe’s corner was deflected away by the keeper, but she headed in for the second goal of a 2–0 win.