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Whitlock: Soccer star Megan Rapinoe benefits from ‘Alphabet Mafia’ triple-protection coverage

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U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe lives in the protected space created by social media's glorification of the BLM-LGBTQ+, the Alphabet Mafia.

Rapinoe is untouchable. She can't be criticized or questioned without fear of social media retribution. Her actions and motives are all assumed to be pure and driven by a purpose much greater than your own.

That's why most of the mainstream media summarily rejected and/or ignored Hope Solo's recent critique of Rapinoe. On Monday, Solo, a former member of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team, claimed that Rapinoe subtly forced other soccer players to kneel during the national anthem. Solo said Rapinoe "almost bullied" her teammates to support Colin Kaepernick's kneeling publicity stunt.

"I think the kneeling thing can be very divisive," Solo said during a podcast interview. "I've seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way."

The purple-haired Rapinoe is a darling of corporate media. She's engaged to WNBA star Sue Bird. In the sports world, they are the ultimate power couple, a symbol of LGBTQ perfection.

Only a homophobe or a bigot would dare question the actions, motives, and agenda of Megan Rapinoe. So few people do. And certainly no one who aspires to work in corporate media would even consider taking Solo's allegation seriously. So few people did.

Instead, the immediate reaction was to point out that Solo was booted off the USWNT months before Kaepernick and Rapinoe began kneeling during the fall of 2016, the inference being that there was no way for Solo to know or see what Rapinoe did to win the support of her teammates. Yesterday, USA Today published a story hammering this point.

Yep. No way Solo has communicated with any of her former teammates over the last five years. Former teammates don't gossip and chat. I get that Solo said "I've seen." She's speaking loosely during an informal podcast interview. It's easy to misspeak or exaggerate in that setting.

Beyond that, anyone who has been following the Kaepernick controversy the last five years knows that many kneeling participants have been bullied. The threat has been clear: Kneel or be labeled racist.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was bullied into kneeling. Jones is an old billionaire. How much easier is it to bully a young athlete who lacks Jones' financial security? What percentage of NFL and NBA players do you think authentically believed in taking a knee during the national anthem?

The BLM-LGBTQ+ Alphabet Mafia stuck a gun to everyone's heads and made athletes offers they couldn't refuse. Everyone saw what happened to Saints quarterback Drew Brees when he offered tepid resistance. He was shot in the streets like Sonny Corleone in the original "Godfather" movie.

We've created a world where Alphabet Mafia members can't be questioned at all, but athletes such as Tim Tebow can be ridiculed with impunity. ESPN, the self-proclaimed "Worldwide Leader in Sports," has spent the past decade analyzing and criticizing Tebow's motives and actions. The devout Christian knelt in prayer after big plays and touchdowns. He was the anti-Kaepernick long before Kaepernick became a polarizing figure and household name.

Tebow's cult of personality was much larger than his on-field performance warranted and a problem for his coaches to corral. His NFL career flamed out nearly a decade ago. This year, Tebow and his former college coach, Urban Meyer, resuscitated the Heisman Trophy winner's football career. At 34 years old, Tebow signed a deal to be a backup tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Both Tebow's and Meyer's motives were critiqued and questioned. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith accused Tebow and Meyer of exemplifying white privilege. Other broadcasters thought so little of Meyer's character that they claimed Meyer would give Tebow a regular-season roster spot whether he deserved it or not.

On Monday, Tebow was among the first players cut by the Jags and Meyer. Stephen A. Smith again claimed "white privilege" benefitted Tebow.

Would any of this be said about Megan Rapinoe? She's white.

If Tebow championed homosexuality, atheism, and Black Lives Matter, would any ESPN broadcasters have the courage to criticize him?

The U.S. women's soccer team turned in an embarrassing performance in the Tokyo Olympics, finishing in third place. It was supposed to be the Dream Team of women's soccer, arguably the most talented team ever assembled. Hope Solo strongly insinuated the team failed to win the gold medal because Rapinoe's agenda interfered with team chemistry.

"I think that's really hard being on the main stage right now with so many political issues for athletes," Solo said. "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."

Did the U.S. women lose because they were focused on politics rather than competition? It's a fair question. It makes sense. No country has spent more money on developing female soccer players than the United States.

Had the men's basketball team lost, the members would have been pilloried 24 hours a day, because they don't have the kind of triple Alphabet Mafia protection as Megan Rapinoe. She's female, gay, and pretends to worship Saint George Floyd.
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