LYON, France _ A lot of attention is on Megan Rapinoe right now. Her political stands, straight forward and candid way of speaking, individuality and powerful on-field performances have combined to make her the star of the 2019 Women's World Cup.
With that has come a lot of love and new fans, as well as detractors _ including the president of the United States _ and some who call her anti-American for her views and the way she chooses to express them, such as not singing the national anthem or saying publicly she would not visit the White House.
What would she say to those people?
"I think that I'm particularly and uniquely and very deeply American," Rapinoe said when Pro Soccer USA asked that question during a mixed zone with reporters Wednesday afternoon. "If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for and, ya know, the songs and the anthem and sort of what we were founded on, I think I'm extremely American.
"And I think for the detractors, I would have them look hard into what I'm actually saying and the actions that I'm doing. Maybe you don't agree with every single way that I do it, and that can be discussed; I know that I'm not perfect. But I think that I stand for honesty and for truth and for wanting to have the conversation, and for looking at the country honestly and saying, yes, we are a great country and there's many things that are so amazing, and I feel very fortunate to be in this country. I would never be able to do this in a lot of different places, but also that doesn't mean that I can't get better. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't always strive to be better. I think that this country was founded on a lot of great ideals, but it was also founded on slavery, and I think we just need to be really honest about that and be really open in talking about that so we can reconcile that and hopefully move forward and make this country better for everyone."