Why outspoken USWNT star Megan Rapinoe thinks she's 'deeply American'


Why outspoken USWNT star Megan Rapinoe thinks she's 'deeply American'

In the face of criticism for comments made off the field, United States Women’s National Team winger Megan Rapinoe has delivered on it at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. 

The 33-year-old became a cable-news talking point a week ago Wednesday, when, in a series of tweets, President Donald Trump scolded Rapinoe for her pre-tournament comments saying she’s “not going to the f---king White House.” 

Rapinoe, who is openly gay and became the first white athlete to kneel in solidarity during the national anthem with Colin Kaepernick’s protest in 2016, stood by the rebuke a day later. Two days after the President's tweets, she scored a brace in the USWNT’s 2-1 win over the host nation in the quarterfinals.

She has remained a political target in part because of those comments, and because she doesn’t hold her hand over heart or sing during the playing of the national anthem. When Rapinoe was asked in Lyon on Wednesday about critics who consider her anti-American, she disagreed in a thoughtful response.

Although her critics have argued she has been a distraction to the team, her teammates and coaches continue to insist otherwise. The USWNT is by no means a sociocultural monolith, as Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel noted in a Wednesday column, yet they have had Rapinoe’s back throughout the tournament.

[RELATED: Rapinoe roasts critics of Morgan's goal celebration]

"We all support Megan," Ellis said last week (via ESPN). "She knows that. We know we have each other's backs in there. I think for our players, there is only one purpose, one mission that we're here. Comments, media, whatever, it's always been something that I think we can block out pretty easily."

Rapinoe is second on the USWNT -- and tied for third in the tournament -- with five goals. She did not play in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over England in the semifinals, telling reporters after the match that she had a minor hamstring injury. She said she expects to be fit for Sunday’s final in Lyon. 

Sheffield United-Man City live stream: Watch EPL online on NBC Sports Gold


Sheffield United-Man City live stream: Watch EPL online on NBC Sports Gold

Second-place Manchester City (23-15-3; 48 points) are, barring a historic collapse from Premier League-leading Liverpool, going to end a season outside of first place for the first time since 2017. 

The Sky Blues fell 16 points behind the Reds thanks to Sunday's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, but a nine-point advantage of fourth-place Chelsea means City are in no real danger of falling out of a UEFA Champions League place. Manager Pep Guardiola won't wave the white flag, however, telling reporters this week that his side's league form is vital to their hopes of winning the Carabao and FA Cups, as well as the Champions League. 

Sheffield United (8-9-6; 33 points), meanwhile, are within range of the European places in their first season in the Premier League. The Blades have acquitted themselves well against the league's best, but a result against Manchester City arguably would be Sheffield United's most impressive of the season. They lost 2-0 to City during the festive period, but the Blades surely will be better at Bramall Lane. 

[RELATED: How to watch Chelsea-Arsenal match online, on TV]

Here's how to watch Tuesday's Sheffield United-Manchester City match exclusively streaming on NBC Sports Gold. 

When: Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT
Stream: NBC Sports Gold

Here is the full list of other matches exclusively airing at that time on NBC Sports Gold.  

Aston Villa-Watford
Crystal Palace-Southampton
Everton-Newcastle United

Chelsea-Arsenal live stream: Watch Premier League game online, on TV


Chelsea-Arsenal live stream: Watch Premier League game online, on TV

Tuesday's match at Stamford Bridge will help us answer the Premier League's most pressing question: Does anyone actually want to finish in fourth place? 

Chelsea currently hold England's last UEFA Champions League spot, leading Tuesday opponents -- and London rivals -- Arsenal by a whopping 10 points. Yet, the Blues' grip on fourth place is tenuous at best, as they have not won consecutive league games since November 9. Tuesday begins a four-match stretch in which Chelsea play Arsenal, third-place Leicester City, fifth-place Manchester United and eighth-place Tottenham Hotspur. It has the potential to be the Blues' season-defining stretch. 

Arsenal, meanwhile, are still struggling for form under new manager Mikel Arteta. They're unbeaten in their last three Premier League matches, but the Gunners drew Crystal Palace and Sheffield United in their last two. Qualifying for the Champions League could be too tall of a task, but Arsenal absolutely need to win away from home Tuesday if they're to have any hope of pulling it off. 

[RELATED: Check out more Premier League coverage on Sky Sports]

Here's how to watch Tuesday's Chelsea-Arsenal match live online and on NBCSN.

When: Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 3:15 p.m. ET/12:15 p.m. ET
Online: NBC Sports