A video circulated on Tuesday of the co-captain of the United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT), Megan Rapinoe, stating that “I’m not going to the f—ing White House.”
Nevertheless, President Trump tweeted today that he would invite the USWNT to the White House regardless of whether the players win or lose this year’s Women’s World Cup.
He added that “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!”
Another team member of the USWNT, Ali Krieger, defended Megan Rapinoe today. She tweeted, “In regards to the ‘President’s’ tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants, & our vulnerable.”
Rapinoe has been a controversial figure during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In the past few games, she has refused to sing the national anthem and refused to put her hand over her heart during the national anthem. She has stated, “I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart. I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”
Rapinoe has also called President Trump “sexist,” “misogynistic,” “small-minded,” and “racist,” while describing herself as “a walking protest” of President Trump.
In the past, Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem in 2016 days after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started doing so. After Rapinoe started kneeling, the U.S. Soccer Federation adopted a policy that requires players to stand during the anthem.
In reference to Rapinoe’s protest of the national anthem, President Trump has said her behavior in the past was not appropriate.
Rapinoe has remained a vital player for the USWNT as she scored all of the goals in the round-of-16 match between the U.S. and Spain on Monday, propelling the USWNT to the quarterfinals against France. As the defending champion and the team with the most first-place finishes, the USWNT is expected to do extremely well this Women’s World Cup.