Megan Rapinoe is at risk of being axed from Subway television adverts following her actions at the Tokyo Olympics.
The football star earned bronze at the Games in the women’s football tournament but has faced a lot of backlash after opting to take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rapinoe has even been subject to criticism from former US President Donald Trump and his son.
The 36-year-old has become a household name over the years – not just for her footballing abilities and impressive medal count, but for her work off the pitch as well.
Rapinoe is known for being an outspoken voice rallying for equal rights and pay parity. She is also fiercely loyal to her personal political views and has even made an appearance at the White House when visiting President Joe Biden.
While the purple-haired trailblazer is inspiring the next generation and advocating for a fairer world for all, not everyone is on board with her stances.
After taking the knee in Tokyo alongside her teammates, Rapinoe has come under yet more backlash. Trump recently slammed the USWNT captain and her team’s performance during their 3-0 loss to Sweden at the Olympics, blaming their defeat on their “wokeism”.
“Wokeism makes you lose, ruins your mind and ruins you as a person,” the former President said. “You become warped. You become demented. The US women’s soccer team is a very good example of what’s going on. Earlier this week, they unexpectedly lost to Sweden, three to nothing.
“And Americans were happy about it. You proved that point before I even said it.”
Now, complaints have been raised to Subway after Rapinoe took the knee just before kick-off during the Tokyo Games. The US joined teams such as Great Britain, Chile and Sweden in making the gesture prior to every match of the women’s football tournament.
A number of furious Americans have called for the fast food chain to axe Rapinoe from their new TV advert.
The OL Reign star was named as a spokeswoman for the company earlier this year.
After a hefty amount of complaints, Yahoo! Sport reports Subway is in talks over dropping Rapinoe as an ambassador of its franchisees. Subway reportedly doesn’t own any of its restaurants and instead charges franchisees 4.5 per cent of their revenue, which goes towards funding the company’s advertising.
Since a large number of complaints were filed by Subway customers, franchisees have requested the advert be pulled from air.
“If our soccer team, headed by a group of Leftist Maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the gold medal instead of the bronze,” Trump wrote in an email to his supporters.
Rapinoe became the first white athlete to take the knee in 2016 after Colin Kaepernick started the now global statement by kneeling during the national anthem at an NFL preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.
Rapinoe also knelt during the national anthem on several occasions, but both she and the USA women’s team have moved on from this gesture and are instead focusing on work off the pitch to help tackle racism.