Former Footy Show panellist Sam Newman has launched a bizarre attack on US soccer star Megan Rapione, saying she has “all the characteristics of a dog”.
Rapione scored twice in the America’s controversial 2-1 win over France, which sent them to the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup.
It was two days earlier though, that Rapione shot to even greater prominence, when US President Donald Trump lashed out at her on Twitter for declaring she wouldn’t accept any invitation to the White House, should the US win the World Cup.
An openly gay player, Rapione has never shied away from controversy.
In 2016, she took to kneeling during the national anthem at her games, in support of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s similar protests which ultimately led to his exit from the league.
To this day, Rapione does not sing the anthem, or place a hand on her chest as it plays.
For some reason, this caught Newman’s ire.
“So US women’s soccer star, Megan Rapinoe refuses to acknowledge the country she represents while overseas,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Megan has all the characteristics of a dog - except loyalty.”
For what it’s worth, it’s unlikely Rapione would be paying attention to what an ageing former AFL player says about her online.
Women’s soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is “not going to the F...ing White House if we win.” Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
The superstar player quickly dismissed the President’s tweet about her - it’s unlikely Newman would move the needle.
“I don’t really get energised by haters or all that, I feel there are so many more people that love me,” she said after the Trump tweet.
“I’m more energised by that.”
USA rocked by controversy
Football fans have levelled accusations of favouritism at Women's World Cup officials after the USA knocked out France in controversial circumstances.
Megan Rapinoe stole the headlines again as her brace took the United States through to the semi-finals, the holders beating France 2-1 in Paris to puncture the hopes of the host nation.
Rapinoe's free-kick five minutes into this quarter-final evaded a sea of bodies in the box on its way into the net to stun the home crowd at the Parc des Princes.
The USA then soaked up pressure before delivering the knockout blow midway through the second half when Rapinoe turned in Tobin Heath's centre, although Wendie Renard pulled a goal back late on for France to set up a tense finish.
France thought they had their opportunity for a late equaliser when they appealed for a handball in the USA box but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Replays showed the French cross did strike the American defender on the arm but incredibly, the incident wasn't referred to VAR.
Angry fans took to social media to share their outrage over the incident - insisting it was another example of the big decisions going the USA's way.