Megan Rapinoe is one of the United States Women's National Team's biggest stars, and her two goals against Spain in the Round of 16 propelled the United States into the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Rapinoe, who sports the captain armband for the stars and stripes, is also one of the most outspoken players on the team. When asked by a reporter from the magazine Eight By Eight in a story published earlier this month if the team would visit the White House if the United States came home from France victorious, her response was simple and direct.
"Psssh, I'm not going to the f*****g White House," she said. "No. I'm not going to the White House. We're not gonna be invited. I doubt it."
FYI: the good folks at @8by8mag say Rapinoe comments were shot at cover shoot in January. Issue released in May, story online in June, video yesterday, nuclear detonation today.— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) June 26, 2019
Rapinoe's comments caught the attention of President Donald Trump after the magazine posted a short clip of the interview to Twitter on Tuesday. Trump responded with his own tweets:
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
....in our Country’s history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House. I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
....invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
Rapinoe has a history of speaking out about injustices she sees in this country. A few years ago, she followed former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's lead by kneeling for the National Anthem before matches.
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” Rapinoe told American Soccer Now's John D. Halloran on why she took a knee. “It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it.”
Rapinoe has stood for the National Anthem during the World Cup - US Soccer now requires it - but found a new way to protest. While her teammates have had their right hand over their hearts and sung the Star Spangled Banner, Rapinoe has stood still with her lips sealed and hands by her sides.
This also caught the attention of Trump, who called Rapinoe's actions "inappropriate."
The United States Women's National Team is back in action on Friday, as they face the host nation France.
MORE SOCCER NEWS:
- Premier League Roundup: Chicarito wants out of West Ham
- World Cup Update: Knockout round brackets set
- Where to watch: Best soccer bars in DC