Leave it to a British media outlet to shed some remarkable insight into the friction and inner workings of one of the most controversial members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team.

Former Richland High School standout and U.S. soccer goalie Hope Solo on Tuesday said Megan Rapinoe "almost bullied" her teammates into kneeling during the national anthem. In a story in the UK Independent, Solo did an interview with the website Goal, and made her sharp comments about the purple-haired former teammate.

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Getty Images

Solo commented on the U.S. Women's team (and other athletes) kneeling, it's become a controversial way for athletes to protest what they think are social justice issues.

Solo told Goal (by way of the Independent):

“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 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.”

Earlier in 2021, Solo criticized Rapinoe for scuttling a potential pay deal that reportedly would have put the U.S. Women's team on more equal terms with their male counterparts. She said the team was ready to sign a contract with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission but then Rapinoe 'led' the team into a collective bargaining agreement that wound up giving them less money.

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Solo left the team in 2016 after her contract was terminated, due in part to her calling the Swedish Women's National team "cowards."  She also had a few widely-publicized personal stumbles prior to 2016 that derailed her very promising career.

But her comments about the controversial Rapinoe shed new light on a person that much of the U.S. is not very happy with right now. Subway is under intense pressure from consumers to drop her from their ads after her latest kneeling and protesting stunts in the Olympics. A huge number of Americans actually rejoiced when the U.S. Women's team lost to Sweden and ended up sputtering to a bronze Olympia medal.


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