Megan Rapinoe got under President Donald Trump’s skin before the US women’s team won the World Cup. After winning the tournament, one of team’s star players has promised that she would stick to her promise of not visiting the White House, and even had a message for the US president.
Rapinoe was on CNN show Anderson Cooper 360 when she was asked if she had a message for Trump.
“I would say that your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me. You’re excluding people that look like me. You’re excluding people of colour,” she said looking straight at the camera.
“I think that you’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people and maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it’s not great for enough Americans in this world,” she said.
She said that it was the US president’s “incredible responsibility” to take care of every single person and do better for everyone.
Rapinoe said that she wouldn’t be the only player from the World Cup-winning team who would refuse to meet with the US President at his official residence.
“I would not go and every teammate that I’ve talked to explicitly about it would not go,” she said.
“I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we’ve worked so hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our life, I don’t think we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration,” she said.
She also said that she was open to meeting other members of Congress and other political leaders, just not the US president.
While the World Cup was on, a video of Rapinoe was released in which she was recorded saying that there was no way she would visit the White House.
Trump responded with tweets. “Women’s soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is ‘not going to the F…ing White House if we win’,” he said.
“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!” he tweeted
Rapinoe was one of the first American athletes to join former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Rapinoe no longer kneels after the United States Soccer Federation changed its regulations to state that players must stand during the anthem, but she does not sing or cover her heart with her hand.