Owners of Subway franchises are asking the company's bosses to pull adverts featuring soccer star Megan Rapinoe because customers are complaining about her political activism.

Rapinoe, 36, is as well known for her outspoken views and purple hair as she is for her soccer skills.

In Tokyo for her third Olympics, Rapinoe took a knee during the National Anthem, before their bronze-winning game.

Donald Trump issued a statement mocking Rapinoe for failing to bring hold of the gold.

'The woman with the purple hair played terribly and spends too much time thinking about Radical Left politics and not doing her job,' he said - comments which Rapinoe called 'sad'.

Rapinoe famously said in 2019 she would not go to the 'f****** White House' to celebrate winning the World Cup when Trump was in office.

Rapinoe was hired by Subway in April for an advert showing her kicking a ball that knocks a burrito from a man's hand - and her telling him to eat a Subway sandwich instead. She is currently in their sports-themed spot, alongside Serena Williams, Tom Brady, and basketball player Steph Curry.

Yet her adverts have been divisive.

At the end of July, a Wisconsin franchise operator shared a note from an angry customer with a discussion forum hosted by the North American Association of Subway Franchisees (NAASF).

The note, taped to his door, read: 'Boycott Subway until Subway fires the anti-American Megan Rapinoe, the creep who kneels for our beloved National Anthem!'

The Wisconsin owner said: 'The ad should be pulled and done with. It gets tiring apologizing.'

Subway does not own any of its nearly 22,000 locations, but it charges franchisees 4.5 percent of their revenue for a national advertising fund and controls how the money is spent from its Connecticut headquarters.

An Arizona owner said on the NAASF blog: 'Spending our money to make a political statement is completely and totally out of bounds.'

Last week, representatives from the NAASF told members the group had passed on their concerns to the senior leadership, led by CEO John Chidsey.

'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 New York 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.'