Rapinoe and USWNT Suffer Stunning Olympic Upset Loss After Pregame Kneeling Display


First the U.S. women’s soccer team knelt. Then they were knocked flat.

Sweden ended a 44-game unbeaten streak for the Americans on Wednesday in a 3-0 victory in the opening round of the women’s Olympic soccer tournament, according to ESPN.

The United States came into the match ranked first in the world. Sweden is ranked fifth.

Sweden handed the U.S. a defeat in the 2016 Olympics, one the U.S. team had hoped to avenge Wednesday. In April, Sweden had battled the U.S. team to a 1-1 draw.

Prior to the beginning of the game, the U.S. team — which has made left-wing protestsa part of its pre-game activities — and Sweden knelt in a gesture to protest racism, Yahoo Sports reported.

Although in past Olympics, protests were not allowed, this year, players are allowed to protest before or after an event, although not during competitions.

In covering the game for The New York Times, Andrew Das wrote in summing up the first half, where Swede took a 1-0 lead, “If it feels unusual to watch the United States get bossed around for a half, well, it should. It doesn’t happen often.”

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