Hope Solo Left the USWNT Before Megan Rapinoe Starting Kneeling

Former U.S. Women's National Soccer Team player Hope Solo is making headlines today after she said her teammate Megan Rapinoe would "almost bully" other team members into kneeling during the national anthem.

However, Solo left the team in August 2016 and Rapinoe first started kneeling during the national anthem in September 2016.

"I've seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way, but it's our right as Americans to do it in whatever way we're comfortable with," she said while on All of Us: The U.S. Women's Soccer Show last Tuesday.

She added: "Right now what I've seen is there's been so much debate about the kneeling, about the not kneeling. I know most people stand against discrimination.

"And I live in the south, I live in a very conservative area here in North Carolina in the south. Obviously, I have friends on both sides of the aisle, but I think the kneeling thing can be very divisive."

Solo's comments have caused a massive stir among U.S. soccer fans this morning, leading her name to become a trending topic on Twitter.

The former goalkeeper was one of the national team's most prominent and outspoken players for more than a decade but her contract was terminated by the federation on August 24, 2016, for ​​"conduct that is counter to the organization's principles."

Solo called members of Sweden's team "a bunch of cowards" at the Rio Olympics after the U.S. team's defeat following a penalty shoot-out.

Rapinoe said she was "very disappointed" by the situation at the time but this incident was the latest in a string of controversies associated with Solo.

Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo
US Women's National Soccer players Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo are interviewed by media at Beyond Soccer, powered by streetfootballworld, at SFJAZZ Center on June 23, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

In 2014 she was charged with assaulting two family members, in 2015 she was suspended after borrowing a team van and drunk driving.

Solo's track record and controversies are leading many people to question her comments about Rapinoe and kneeling.

A number of people have been pointing out on social media that Rapinoe first started kneeling as a protest during the national anthem after Solo had left the team.

So is no one gonna question the fact that @mPinoe didn’t even start kneeling until after hope solo was kicked off the team?!?! Someone make it make sense. https://t.co/jbWeunpU4b pic.twitter.com/0rNdz0uEne

— Madison Huszar (@mad_madz_) August 17, 2021

Rapinoe is noted for kneeling during a friendly game against Thailand in Columbus, Ohio on September 15, 2016—weeks after Solo's departure—and was one of the most prominent national athletes to follow the example set by Colin Kaepernick as a response to racial inequality and police brutality.

Kaepernick first started kneeling on the sideline at games during the national anthem in 2016—the first time it was picked up by the media is largely reported as being on August 26 of that year before a Packers-49ers preseason game.

Newsweek has contacted representatives for both Rapinoe and Solo for comment.