Rapinoe — who is gay — also was asked in the interview if she thought the Spirit’s action had homophobic undertones.
“I do, yeah,” Rapinoe said, adding that she’s “had conversations with Spirit players current and past. The fact that they don’t have a Pride Night … I think they’ve made it pretty clear, at least internally, that’s not something they’re interested in.”
“I don’t know if it was directly at me because I’m gay and it’s a protest that I’m making as a gay woman,” she continued, then added with a smile, “Bit of a stretch.”
Earlier Wednesday, the Reign said they were standing by Rapinoe. In a statement, the team said it recognizes Rapinoe’s action “was offensive to some and a source of inspiration to others.”
“We will continue to encourage all Reign FC players to participate in the pre-match ceremony, which honors those who have served and made sacrifices on our behalf,” the Reign said. “We will also continue to allow players to participate in the pre-match ceremony in a manner consistent with their personal beliefs, reflecting our respect for the rights earned and defended by those fighting for our nation.”