Megan Rapinoe has demonstrated, once again, she is not afraid to speak her mind—even if it could hurt her career.
On Thursday, the International Olympics Committee announced it was banning political protests at the 2020 Summer Olympics. According to the updated IOC guidelines, participating athletes are prohibited from conducting any sort of "demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda ... in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas." This effectively bans Olympians displaying political messaging and/or gestures, like taking a knee.
"We believe that the example we set by competing with the world’s best while living in harmony in Olympic Village is a uniquely positive message to send to an increasingly divided world,” the governing body said. "This is why it is important, on both a personal and global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village, and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations."
The outspoken Rapinoe wasn't pleased with the policy and made sure to let the IOC know it.
"So much being done about the protests," Rapinoe wrote in an Instagram story. "So little being done about what we are protesting about. We will not be silenced."
Her message was placed over an image of fists raising through the Olympic rings, with the words "kneeling," "hand gestures," and "signs" crossed out with red lines.
Rapinoe's stance comes as no surprise, as she was among the professional athletes who participated in the #TakeaKnee movement launched by Colin Kaepernick. The 34-year-old athlete has also been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, referring to him as a sexist and misogynist. She also criticized Trump's Make America Great America slogan as harmful and regressive.
"You're harking back to an era that was not great for everyone," she said during a July 2019 interview with Anderson Cooper. "It might have been great for a few people, and maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it's not great for enough Americans in this world."
The XXXII Olympic Summer Games will kick off July 24 in Tokyo.