U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe doesn't plan to comply with the International Olympic Committee's recently announced rules limiting political protests by athletes during the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Rapinoe, who several years ago joined then-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protest by kneeling during the national anthem, posted on Instagram her disapproval that the IOC was more concerned with protests than the reasons for them.
"So much being done about the protests," Rapinoe wrote. "So little being done about what we are protesting about. We will not be silenced."
Megan Rapinoe responds to the IOC banning protests at the Olympics: “We will not be silenced” https://t.co/69PljKC8u5— Sports Illustrated (@Sports Illustrated)1578691839.0
The IOC announced more specific rules about political protest in order to maintain a sense of unity among competitors from various nations. The rules prohibit hand gestures, kneeling, and signs by athletes in the Olympic village or during medal ceremonies.
"They are not and must never be a platform to advance political or any other divisive ends," IOC President Thomas Bach said. "Our political neutrality is undermined whenever organizations or individuals attempt to use the Olympic Games as a stage for their own agendas, as legitimate as they may be."
When Rapinoe began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, she wrote "I haven't experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member's body lying dead in the street. But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache."
She no longer kneels during the national anthem but she is still sympathetic to the motive behind the protests. Rapinoe became an even more polarizing political figure during the Women's World Cup in 2019 when she sparked a back-and-forth with President Donald Trump by saying "I'm not going to the f***ing White House" if the U.S. Women's National Team won.
(H/T: The Daily Wire)