In an interview on the Goal website's "All of US: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show," former U.S. women’s soccer team goalie Hope Solo discussed kneeling by the team’s members while the national anthem is played.
"I do appreciate the fact that there’s no national anthem before the game to really remove that decision from athletes. Because that’s really tough," Solo said.
Solo added: "I think the rhetoric surrounding this team has been both divisive and inclusive. I guess it’s kind of where we are in politics in this day and age. 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. 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."
Solo continued by saying that she saw team captain Megan Rapinoe "almost bully players into kneeling," and that "it’s our right as Americans to do it 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."
But according to Solo, "ultimately, at the end of the day, our No. 1 focus should and has always been to win first."
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