The Rio Olympics have almost begun and representatives from across the globe will soon bear their country’s flag during the highly anticipated opening ceremony.
As for the United States, swimmer Michael Phelps was elected by his teammates to carry Old Glory. As the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, Phelps seemed to many like an obvious pick for the job.
“I’m honored to be chosen, proud to represent the U.S., and humbled by the significance of carrying the flag and all it stands for,” Phelps said.
Despite being the pick of his fellow teammates, some are calling on Phelps to give up the honor and instead allow the runner up to carry the flag.
Ibtihaj Muhammad, an African American, Muslim woman famous for wearing her hijab during her fencing matches, came in a close second behind Phelps as the choice for flag bearer. Muhammad has also been outspoken against Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. “When you incite hateful speech and rhetoric like that, the people who say it never think about the repercussions and how that affects Muslims,” she told Time.