In the aftermath of the embarrassing defeat the U.S. women's soccer team suffered at the hands of the Canadians during the Tokyo Olympic games earlier today, a lot of folks were understandably weighing in on the Twitter machine and opining that maybe the U.S. ladies should have spent a little less time trying to be woke and a lot more time honing their craft so that they wouldn't find themselves reduced to playing for the bronze medal instead of the gold.
While the issue of whether or not the team's obsession with appearing woke impacted their performance on the field of play will be a matter of vigorous debate for months to come, what's inarguable is that there are a whole lot of people who don't like Megan Rapinoe, who is the perhaps the most outspoken member of the team and who receives a lion's share of media/Democrat attention and adoration.
The dislike of Rapinoe is so widespread and apparent that it had ESPN feature writer Katie Barnes asking why people “hated” her so much:
Whew there are some people out there who really hate Megan Rapinoe. I will never understand why folks get so pressed over someone whom they will likely never meet and who has no bearing on their lives or livelihoods.
— Katie Barnes (@katie_barnes3) August 2, 2021
Before I get into my specific thoughts on the subject of Megan Rapinoe, let's dissect the tweet a little bit.
While it's true that most people (whether they like her or not) will “likely never” get to meet Megan Rapinoe, insinuating they have no reason to dislike her because she “has no bearing on their lives” is more than a little bit off.
Whether she'd admit to it or not, Rapinoe has appointed herself as a spokesperson of sorts not just for women but also for the LGBTQ community. She advocates policy positions and has even become a pal of the Biden administration. So yes, being in the powerful position she is, Rapinoe has the ability to impact the lives of every American by way of her advocacy. The dislike of her isn't just because she's an annoying person; it's because her critics don't want her ill-informed opinions on issues like “equal pay” and “transgender rights” to become more pervasive in the American/political psyche than they already are.
Beyond that, there is a lot to dislike about Rapinoe.
For starters, we've written a few times here about how she's inadvertently undercut her own arguments on equal pay when trying to make the case that she and her teammates were getting the short end of the stick.
The most notable instance of this happening was during a July 2019 interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, when Rapinoe argued in so many words that the best way for people to support the women's team was to buy tickets to games and to buy their merch:
MADDOW: “It was striking to see in the moments immediately following the final whistle, you get that ‘USA, USA' chant, but “equal pay, equal pay” along that same cadence. I think fans want to know what they can do to support that fight.'
RAPINOE: “Fans can come to games. Obviously, the national team games will be a hot ticket. But we have nine teams in the NWSL. You can go for our league games. You can support that way. You can buy players` jerseys. You can lend your support in that way. You can tell your friends about it. You can become season ticket holders. I think in terms of that, that`s the easiest way for fans to get involved.”
In other words, generate the necessary revenue that would justify getting paid on par with the guys and then we can revisit the “equal pay” issue again to see if Rapinoe, who make hundreds of thousands if not millions in endorsement deals alone, has any further questions.
Secondly, this isn't like the NFL or the NBA where teams that protest the anthem play for a different city. Rapinoe plays for a national team – the American team – and her kneeling when this country's national anthem is played is just disgraceful, pure and simple. A person doesn't have to be happy with everything that goes on here to show pride in the country that gave you the opportunity to do what you do.
Thirdly, she's a damned lousy spokesperson for women's equality when you consider the fact that she's also an advocate for men who identify as women to be allowed to play on women's teams, a position which completely undermines women's sports. Here's what Rapinoe wrote about this debate back in March:
Proponents of these bills argue that they are protecting women. As a woman who has played sports my whole life, I know that the threats to women's and girls' sports are lack of funding, resources and media coverage; sexual harassment; and unequal pay.
As I've said before, there are plenty of women who would argue that the real threat to women's sports are activists on the left who can't see the forest for the trees on this issue. For instance, sports legend Martina Navratilova who, like Rapinoe, is a lesbian, has argued against including transgender women in women's sports on grounds that there are “inherent” differences between men and women that don't change just because one begins to identify as the other gender.
In any event, those are just a few of the many reasons so many people dislike Megan Rapinoe. “Hate,” which Barnes used in her tweet, is a strong word, and while I've no doubt there is hate for Rapinoe out there, my feelings towards her are pure dislike mixed with disgust and disappointment that a woman in her position would dare think she could simultaneously lobby for both women's rights and the right for transgender women to compete in women's sports and that nobody would see straight through it and call her out on it.
The latter, if it were to become the rule of law here, would cancel out the former. I feel sorry for Megan Rapinoe that she either doesn't see it or won't acknowledge what the end result of what she advocates would achieve, and what a catastrophic setback it would be for the very women she claims to want to champion.