Jason Chaffetz: US Women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe missing a big opportunity to bring our country together

Jason Chaffetz: US Women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe missing a big opportunity to bring our country together

During a gut-wrenching scene in “Miracle,” the best amateur hockey players from across the country are taken to the brink of their physical limits while they stubbornly and repeatedly fail to recognize they no longer play for their individual college teams.

It takes grueling determination from the head coach to awaken the players that they now play for Team USA. It’s a gritty, emotional scene that ultimately captures one of the most patriotic sports moments to ever reach the big screen.

Watching Team USA unite together to give their very best while putting country and team-first can be inspirational.


Fast forward to Team USA’s women’s soccer team; a talented mix of players of various ages, socio-economic backgrounds, races, and sexual orientations. You know, Americans. They win a lot of games while fans sway American flags in the stands and little kids daydream about playing on the same field while wearing the red, white and blue.

Then there’s Megan Rapinoe. She is co-captain for Team USA. As should be expected, Rapinoe is arguably one of the best soccer players in the world. She won the World Cup and is an Olympic gold medalist. Nike and Samsung sponsor her. Just how talented is she? Ask her: “Because I’m as talented as I am, I get to be here, you don’t get to tell me if I can be here or not,” she said in a recent interview.

When she’s not playing soccer, she advocates for LGBT issues. She also served on a round-table for Hillary Clinton. Good for her.

She also can’t stand President Trump and seems intent on letting us all in on her feelings about that. She’s already announced she would refuse to visit the White House if invited to do so.

Until the U.S. team ruled all players needed to stand for the anthem, Megan Rapinoe showed a propensity to take a knee. Now she stands but refuses to put her hand over her heart or sing along with her teammates. Her actions are causing fans to boycott watching the team play. 

What a missed opportunity.

Our national anthem is a song about standing up for freedom despite all of the odds. When the bombs are bursting in air, the flag remains flying strong, giving hope and optimism that victory and freedom will win the day.

Captain Rapinoe has an opportunity to be a role model for all Americans, not just those that agree with her. She and she alone chose to put on the uniform and represent all of us.

How about just kicking butt, winning and enjoy it? That’s an American thing. So is encouraging all of us to enjoy the experience along with you.  It unites us. People from all backgrounds and political beliefs, including me, are proud of your accomplishments on the field and want the same freedoms and opportunities for you, your teammates and those who support your causes.

Visit the White House with enthusiasm if given the chance; it’s the center of the greatest nation on Earth that helped free more people around the world and expanded rights to more people than ever before.


And if you truly want to help your cause, ask for a private meeting with the president to discuss your concerns. Half of us didn’t agree with our last president. Half don’t now. Get over it.

Stand up for your cause in a way that we can all support. Anything less is a missed opportunity.


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