Subway franchise owners want purple-haired, anthem-kneeling U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe booted from her role as one of the restaurant’s spokespeople.
Numerous franchise owners and some customers, particularly from red states, have complained about Rapinoe being featured in ads for the chain, specifically noting the soccer player’s political activism and apparent disrespect for our nation displayed when she has taken a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games.
“Late last month on a discussion forum hosted by the North American Association of Subway Franchisees, a Wisconsin store operator posted a picture of a hand-scrawled note from an irate customer taped to the front door of his shop,” Fox News reported over the weekend.
“Boycott Subway until Subway fires the anti-American … Megan Rapinoe, the creep who kneels for our beloved National Anthem!” the note reportedly said.
“The ad should be pulled and done with,” the shop owner said. “It gets tiring apologizing.”
As noted by Fox News, franchisees are charged 4.5% of their revenue for a national advertising fund, which Subway controls.
Reps from the NAASF claim they’ve received complaints about the Rapinoe ads. Fox News reported:
“Your NAASF Board has already communicated with [Subway] leadership the concerns voiced by NAASF membership,” the group’s executive director, Illya Berecz, told franchisees, according to a letter obtained by The Post.
“I had a bunch of franchisees calling me on this today,” a lawyer who represents Subway franchisees told The Post earlier this week. “They are trying to get the ads pulled.”
“We are so politically divided in this country and Subway should have done more careful due diligence, without a doubt, before choosing [Rapinoe],” said John Gordon of Pacific Management Consulting Group.
The U.S. women’s soccer team was expected to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics but fell short with a bronze medal.
Sparking backlash, most players on the Team USA, including team captain Rapinoe, took a knee before Olympic matches to apparently protest alleged systemic racism in America.
Notably, Rapinoe stood by the team’s kneeling protest at the Games.
“It’s an opportunity for us to continue to use our voices and use our platforms to talk about the things that affect all of us intimately in different ways,” the forward said, according to The Associated Press.
“We have people from Team USA, from all over the country, from all backgrounds, and people literally from all over the world for every other team so I obviously encourage everyone to use that platform to the best of their ability to do the most good that they possibly can in the world, especially as all eyes are on Tokyo these next couple weeks,” Rapinoe continued.
“We’re on the global stage, with the world’s media, and eyeballs and people’s attention, all drawn to one place with a collection of incredible athletes from all over the world, who care a lot about what they’re doing here in Tokyo in terms of their sport, and who care a lot about a lot of other things.”