Megan Rapinoe said “I’m not going to the f****** White House” if the United States win the Women’s World Cup.
USWNT captain Megan Rapinoe told Eight by Eight when asked if a visit to the White House would be on the cards should USA retain their title, “I’m not going to the f******ing White House. No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited.”
In 2016 Rapinoe became one of the first athletes to join Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. She has previously attacked Mr Trump as a “sexist” and “misogynistic” and described herself as “a walking protest”. She wants equal pay and is one of 28 players in the squad suing the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination as part of a claim that “female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts”.
Rapinoe continues to protest the national anthem in her own way at the Women’s World Cup. She stands in silence while other members of the national team place their hands over their hearts and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Donald Trump tweeted in response: “Women’s soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is ‘not going to the F…ing White House if we win. 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 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!”
Again at Thursday’s news conference, Rapinoe said: “I’ll just address it head-on and then we can get to the soccer questions. Obviously [there has been] a lot of news recently. I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive – my mum will be very upset about that.
I’m obviously entering with a lot of passion considering how much time and effort and pride we take in the platform that we have and using it for good and for leaving the game in a better place and hopefully the world in a better place. I don’t think that I would want to go and I would encourage my team-mates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn’t feel the same way and doesn’t fight for the same things that we fight for.
I’ll just leave it at that and I’m not interested in answering any of those questions. We can get to the real reason we’re here, which is a huge game.”
USA coach Jill Ellis also has no issue with the attention Rapinoe attracts. She said, appearing alongside Rapinoe: “The personality of our players, that’s part of the make-up of the players. They’re elite people that live on a stage that is always under scrutiny.
This team has a remarkable focus. We all support Megan. She knows that. We know we have each other’s backs in there. For our players, there’s only one purpose, one mission that we’re here. Comments, media, whatever – that’s always been something we can block out pretty easily.”
Defending champions USA will face hosts France in the World Cup quarter-finals in Paris on Friday.
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