FACT CHECK: Was Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Released by US Olympic Team for Missing Penalty in Women's World Cup?

The speculation regarding Rapinoe originated from a piece published by the Dunning-Kruger Times, a part of the satirical content.

The US women's team got knocked out of the Women's World Cup soccer earlier this week, with several fans blaming Megan Rapinoe for missing a crucial penalty kick. Rapinoe faced further backlash after she was caught on camera smiling after missing the penalty kick. Since then Rapinoe has been made a villain for her country's exit from the Women's World Cup soccer.

Around the same time on August 6 (Sunday), several Facebook users started circulating a post containing links to an online article that claimed, "U.S. Olympic Team Releases Megan Rapinoe After World Cup Blunder." However, there is no truth in the claim and it is completely false.

Bizarre Claim

Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe Twitter

According to the online story being circulated, Rapinoe, a member of the U.S. women's national soccer team, was reportedly asked by the U.S. Olympic Team to "step aside." This supposed request followed her and other team members' failure to convert penalty kicks in their defeat against Sweden on August 6.

The article read: Megan Rapinoe announced her retirement from professional soccer earlier this year. That means no more World Cups or league play after 2023.

Still, all athletes are eligible to try out for the US Olympic Team, of which Rapinoe has been a member for 17 years. This year, however, the team has asked that she step aside.

"In light of the World Cup blunder and the negative attention for kneeling during the National Anthem, the US Olympic Women's Soccer team has released Megan Rapinoe," said Olympic Committee Chairman Joe Barron, "Ms. Rapinoe has our deepest respect."

Megan Rapinoe
One of the posts on Facebook claiming Megan Rapinoe was asked to leave the national team Twitter

Facebook users who shared the story or read a post about it shared various negative remarks about Rapinoe. Some of these remarks included, for instance, "justice served," "she is a cancer," "the devil gets its due," and "about time."

No Truth in Claim

However, despite the article and the comments made by users, the claim was not based on authentic news. The speculation regarding Rapinoe originated from a piece published by the Dunning-Kruger Times, a part of the satirical content network known as America's Last Line of Defense.

The "About Us" section of the Dunning-Kruger Times describes the website as a platform that produces content encompassing "parody, satire, and jest," according to fact-checking website snopes.com.

Moreover, the article's mention of the name "Joe Barron" was a recurrence of a fabricated identity that has been repeatedly used in previous articles released by the Dunning-Kruger Times.

In the aftermath of the Women's World Cup soccer defeat, the Dunning-Kruger Times disseminated additional satirical narratives. These stories, which followed the loss, encompassed headlines such as "Megan Rapinoe Loses $25M Broadcasting Deal After Embarrassing World Cup Loss," "Megan Rapinoe Released From Pro Soccer Team OL Reign: 'It's Time She Moves On,'" and "Nike Ends Partnership With Megan Rapinoe: 'We Paid For a Champion.'"

Hence, the claim is completely false and misleading.

Related topics : Fake news