FS1’s Whitlock: Rapinoe’s Anthem Protests More ‘Authentic’ Than Kaepernick

Megan Rapinoe
Getty Images/Daniela Porcelli

Fox Sports 1 host Jason Whitlock believes the anthem protests of women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe are more “authentic” than those of anthem-kneeling former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick.

“I’d like to give U.S. soccer star and national anthem protestor and high profile Trump-troll Megan Rapinoe some advice – you go girl,” Whitlock said on his FS1 show. “Keep doing you. It’s authentic and I believe it’s empowering you to become the most dominating and fascinating and influential American women’s athlete since (tennis star) Serena Williams was in her prime.”

Rapinoe, currently participating in the Women’s World Cup, has refused to sing the anthem or put her hand over her heart while it’s played, due to her dislike of United States President Donald J. Trump.

Whitlock was a harsh critic of Kaepernick when he kneeled during the national anthem in the 2016 season as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

So what gives? Why was Whitlock a critic of Kaepernick for protesting during the anthem, but not not Rapinoe?

“I’m sure some of you are shocked – how can the same guy who bashed Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem, support Rapinoe? It’s actually quite easy,” Whitlock surmised. “The difference between ‘Kaep’ and ‘Rap’ is believability and authenticity. ‘Kaep’ converted to revolutionary when his career flamed out. Took a seat during the national anthem in the aftermath of the 49ers telling him to take a seat behind (quarterback) Blaine Gabbert. Before being benched, ‘Kaep’ didn’t know the difference between (activist) Angela Davis and (actress) Angela Lansbury.”

Whitlock feels “career failure and a steady diet of (activist) Shaun King’s tweets transformed ‘Kaep.'”

Whitlock believes Rapinoe’s protests are more “organic” than Kaepernick’s.

“Rapinoe wasn’t transformed, she was inspired by Kaepernick,” Whitlock said. “There is a world of difference between inspiration and transformation – one is organic; the other is socially engineered.”

Whitlock thinks that Rapinoe has more credibility in her protests since she’s a dominating player, while Kaepernick was a declining player during his protestations.

“Rapinoe is at the top of her sport,” Whitlock said. “She is in the discussion for the best player in the world right now. She is beloved by her teammates. She was smart enough and pragmatic enough to figure out she could make her political point without disrespecting the national anthem. When U.S. soccer dictated she stand for the anthem, she didn’t nail herself nail herself on a Twitter cross, she stood and silently protested by refusing to sing and place her hand over her heart. Most importantly, she elevated her play to the next level. It’s impossible to ignore her complaints because she’s the best player in the World Cup.”

So Whitlock feels every time Rapinoe succeeds on the field it brings attention to her cause.

“Every time she scores, we are subconsciously reminded that she opposes our President and believes he’s unfit to serve,” Whitlock said.

Rapinoe said if the United States wins the Women’s World Cup she will not visit the White House.

“I am not going to fake it, hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am [for] and so many of the things that I actually am,” Rapinoe told Sports Illustrated. “I have no interest in extending our platform to him.”

If they win the World Cup, Rapinoe announced she will visit with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Washington instead of Trump.

It’s unclear which of the President’s policies Rapinoe is against.

“Rapinoe chose to be a force for change,” Whitlock said. “It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree with her complaints. What matters is, I can’t reject them as a phony whine intended to distract from professional failure. ‘Rap’ is no ‘Kaep.’ That is why her success and protest don’t bother me.”


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