Submitted by Benjamin Hale on Tue, 07/30/2019 - 01:59

Megan Rapinoe's recent comments regarding equal pay and LGBTQ rights have littered this current news cycle. Just two days ago she was featured on Anderson Cooper's show on CNN, explaining her position on a litany of things from the US Victory, to equal pay, LGBTQ rights, and more importantly, our president her his seething dislike for him. Rapinoe, who has been propped up as being the star player of the US Women's soccer team, has arguably gained more notoriety for her polarizing political comments than her skills on the soccer field.

The general take on this issue, like most every other political issue in America these days, is presented in two arguments. Either you back Rapinoe for her comments and stick by her decision to snub a potential invite to the white house while castigating all of those who disagree with Rapinoe and her remarks. Or, like myself, find yourself looking to Rapinoe with a bad taste in your mouth and cast her aside as another radical leftist with crazy ideas. With everyone getting caught up on the finite details of this story, there seems to be a case of selective amnesia coming from both sides regarding one particular comment she made. The statement speaks to a broader problem here in America and is the exact reason why we continue to find ourselves in a continuous cycle of anger and despair regarding our political sphere.

While speaking with Anderson Cooper on CNN, Rapinoe commented what she would do on a potential trip to the white house if she were to go. In laymen's terms, she mentioned how the only reason she would go to the white house, would have a conversation with those who agree with her position. A highly divisive and rather upsetting comment that speaks to the more significant point that I am trying to make, and what most Americans are feeling.

If Rapinoe doesn't want to go to the white house to celebrate her team's victory, she is within every right to do so. But boldly standing before a group of like-minded individuals hurling insults towards our president and using her platform of the recent US win to instead create schism as opposed to unification within our county is not only irresponsible but embarrassing and trite at this point.

It would have been much more becoming of her to promote a continued discussion about the issues she is passionate about, while also placing herself in a position to argue them with those in a higher power. Had she wanted to influence change on women's pay and LGBTQ rights, her temperament would have been much different, and far more open- minded than the way she has approached these issues thus far. They are further confirming to the majority of Americans that Rapinoe and those like her only live to isolate the country as opposed to unifying it.

This behavior has become expected of athletes in today's modern era. We saw it with Kaepernick as he kneeled for the national anthem, a man who was so convinced by his own beliefs that he bolstered the tanking of his already abysmal career to score a deal with Nike contingent on his occasional tweet and shoveling of coal into the outrage machine. Rapinoe, like Kaepernick, will likely find herself down the same path in a few short years.

When you find yourself in a position of heightened importance, should be using it to create unification rather than division. The only point you make with comments like Rapinoe's is that you don't want change, you only want to kick and scream about injustice for the sake of cow-towing. By doubling down on her comments and continuing to radically spew her beliefs, whether they be right or wrong, she has got her fifteen minutes, but at what cost has she done any good for her cause? Will Rapinoe be the single force that drives a significant change on these policies? Or will she drift into obscurity? Off to join Kaepernick and others who made their stand only to be forgotten.


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