Megan Rapinoe criticises Luis Rubiales and responds to ‘fake’ USWNT detractors


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Megan Rapinoe has criticised Spanish football association (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales for kissing Jenni Hermoso following Spain’s World Cup win, describing the incident as reflecting a “deep level of misogyny and sexism”.

Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips during the presentation ceremony at Stadium Australia after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England.

The president apologised for an act that he said was “normal, natural and not at all with any bad faith,” while Hermoso — who said shortly after the event that she “did not enjoy that” — later released a statement via the RFEF playing down the incident.

Rubiales has been criticised in Spain by acting prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, and culture and sport minister, Miquel Iceta, but two-time World Cup Rapinoe — who announced her retirement ahead of the tournament at which the USWNT reached the quarter-finals — has also spoken out in condemnation.

“It made me think about how much we are required to endure,” she said in an interview with The Atlantic when asked for her reaction.

“Think how much that Spanish team had to shoulder: some of the players who stood up way back last year (to protest against coach Jorge Vilda and the national team set-up) still aren’t on the team. Maybe that was something that galvanised them, but you shouldn’t have to have that.

“There was another picture that signals such a deep level of misogyny and sexism in that federation and in that man (Rubiales), at the final whistle, just grabbing his crotch. What kind of upside-down world are we in? On the biggest stage, where you should be celebrating …”

Rapinoe’s tournament and USWNT career ended in disappointment with the 38-year-old missing her penalty in a 5-4 shootout defeat to the Netherlands.

Former player turned FOX pundit Carli Lloyd was a vocal critic of the team’s performances and body language in Australia and New Zealand, while ex-president Donald Trump publicly taunted Rapinoe and her team-mates.

Rapinoe said of Trump: “What he’s saying is fake. It’s a compilation of hit words and hot-button words that don’t actually make any sort of sense or square with reality at all… I think, just in general, the way that our team was spoken about over the course of the tournament, it was fake.

“And it didn’t make sense to me: In 2019, we were ultra-confident, ultra-swaggy — and won everything. And even though we won, we did it in bad taste, according to our critics. This time, we weren’t confident enough, and we don’t have the right “mentality.” And so we lost. It’s just so disingenuous. There’s no way for us to win, and there’s no way for us to lose.”


Linehan: This World Cup’s anti-USWNT outrage isn’t just hateful, it’s irrational

(Photo: Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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