Saturday, February 5, 2022

REVIEW: Megan Rapinoe's Post-Olympic Woes Cause Subway to Drop Athlete from Advertising Deal

Megan Rapinoe #15 kneels during the National Anthem prior to the match between the United States and the Netherlands at Georgia Dome on September 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. - © Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Source: MSN

Published: August 10, 2021

By: Scott McDonald

The last two weeks of Olympic soccer won't define American star Megan Rapinoe's career, but they sure haven't been pleasant. First, there was the national team failing to make the gold medal round for a second-straight Olympics, and then there was former President Donald Trump taking verbal jabs at her.

Now, a group of Subway franchise owners want the soccer player pulled from ads, claiming that her testimonial has caused a dip in sales and questions about the store's reputation.

Rapinoe became one of the faces of the fast-food restaurant prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with the ad showing primarily during the Olympic Games, which ended on Sunday. She has been an outspoken member of the women's national team for equal pay as the men's team, equal rights for the LGBTQ community and has been the face of athletes outside of American football kneeling during the national anthem.


She was a staunch critic of Trump, who has continually bashed her, and her "purple hair."

Nearly 22,000 Subway restaurants are owned by individual franchisees, of which 4.5 percent of their revenue goes back into the parent company for advertising and other overhead costs, according to the New York Post. Some of those franchise owners have spoken out, saying they have received notes on their businesses and bad word of mouth.

"Boycott Subway until Subway fires the anti-American ... Megan Rapinoe, the creep who kneels for our beloved National Anthem!" read a note at one store in Wisconsin.

The owner of that particular store said they get tired of "apologizing" for the ad.

"The ad should be pulled and done with," one franchisee said. "It gets tiring apologizing."

The North American Association of Subway Franchisees (NAASF) met last month to discuss the ad, among other issues. Illya Berecz, who's the executive director of that group, told members that they'd already voiced concerns to the company.

"Your NAASF Board has already communicated with [Subway] leadership the concerns voiced by NAASF membership," Berecz told them.

The bulk of complaints and concerns came from predominantly-red states and counties around the country.


The franchise ownership is comprised mostly of mom-and-pop style businesses around the country, including this one in Arizona that said spending corporate dollars for "political" statements was "out of bounds."

"Spending our money to make a political statement is completely and totally out of bounds," they wrote on the NAASF blog.

The United States women, who were knocked out during the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics by Sweden, lost to the Swedes, 3-0, to open the Tokyo Games. The U.S. responded with a 6-1 win over New Zealand, and then needed a 0-0 tie against Australia to advance to this year's Olympic knockout round.

Rapinoe and the Americans got past the Netherlands in a shootout of penalty kicks after their quarterfinal game ended in a 2-2 tie after regulation and extra periods. Canada beat the U.S., 1-0, in in the semifinal, in which Rapinoe called a "tough pill to swallow."

The United States defeated Australia, 4-3, to earn the bronze medal.

At that point, Trump attacked Rapinoe herself while addressing the soccer team's bronze, although Rapinoe scored half of her country's goals in that match to win bronze.

"The woman with the purple hair played terribly and spends too much time thinking about Radical Left politics and not doing her job," Trump said.

Trump went on and said through a prepared statement, "If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of Leftist Maniacs, wasn't woke, they would have won the Gold Medal instead of the Bronze."

Rapinoe said she was rather befuddled that a former president would root against an American team in the quadrennial Olympic Games.

"It's a real sad dig into an old bag," Rapinoe told reporter Jack Doles. "I'm just like, 'You're rooting for people to do bad?' Yikes."

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