If as many expect the United States women’s soccer team wins the World Cup currently being played in France, co-captain Megan Rapinoe won’t be paying a congratulatory visit to President Trump.
‘I’m not going to the f*****g White House,’ Rapinoe, who was criticized by Trump for protesting the national anthem, told Eight by Eight magazine on Tuesday.
‘No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not gonna be invited.’
Rapinoe’s comments were made just a day after the president said her refusal to sing the national anthem or place her hand on her heart during its playing before matches was inappropriate.
WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE
Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the United States women’s soccer team, emphatically ruled out a visit to the White House if the team receives an invite from President Trump
She said: ‘No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not gonna be invited. I doubt it’
Since Trump became president in January 2017, a number of sports teams in both the professional and collegiate ranks who have won championships have either declined invitations to the White House, were not invited, or cited ‘scheduling conflicts’ as the reason they couldn’t attend.
The NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, the University of Notre Dame’s women’s college basketball team, Villanova University’s men’s basketball team, the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, and NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson did not make the traditional celebratory trip to the White House.
Other teams, like Clemson’s national championship football squad, the University of Alabama’s football team, the New England Patriots, the Boston Red Sox, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Houston Astros did visit the White House, though not without controversy.
Trump told The Hill in an interview Monday that he disagrees with her actions, but loves watching women’s soccer and thinks the players are very talented.
Since coming into office, the Trump administration has rolled back protections for LGBTQ Americans.
In July 2017, Trump announced that transgender Americans would be barred from serving in the military.
Rapinoe’s comments were made just a day after the president said her refusal to sing the national anthem or place her hand on her heart during its playing before matches was inappropriate. Trump is seen above in the Oval Office on Tuesday
The administration also claims that employers are permitted to discriminate against employees of a different sexual orientation or gender identity.
Trump’s administration reversed the approach taken under Democratic former President Barack Obama by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces federal laws banning workplace discrimination.
Since the start of the Women’s World Cup in France, Rapinoe (seen left during the singing of the national anthem before Team USA’s match against Spain at Stade Auguste Delaune on Monday in Reims, France) has declined to sign the anthem or place her hand on her heart
Rapinoe has been criticized for not singing and putting her hand over her heart like other players
Rapinoe, who is a lesbian, is one of the most outspoken athletes representing America and has described herself as a ‘walking protest’ to Trump’s policies.
She was the first national team member of any sport to kneel in support of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
After Rapinoe started kneeling during the anthem, the United States Soccer Federation adopted a policy that requires players to stand during the anthem.
Now she stands, but she has been criticized for not singing and putting her hand over her heart like other players.
Since the Women’s World Cup began earlier this month in France, Rapinoe stuck to her resolve not to sing the national anthem.
Her decision ignited criticism of her on social media.
Rapinoe told Yahoo Sports last month that she would ‘probably never sing or honor the national anthem again’.
‘I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart. I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again,’ she said in an interview published on May 13.
Megan Rapinoe (second from left) kneels during the playing of the anthem before a match against Thailand in 2016 at MAPFRE Stadium in Ohio. In response, the United States Soccer Federation created a rule requiring players to stand ‘respectfully’ during the anthem
In 2016, she was the first white athlete to take a knee during a pre-game national anthem performance in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick (seen center alongside Eli Harold, left, and Eric Reid, right, during a game in Santa Clara, California in 2016)
‘It’s kind of a good “F you” to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have towards people who don’t look exactly like him,’ the LGBT activist said in an interview published on May 13.
Rapinoe also preemptively declined the customary invite to the White House from Trump if the US Women’s Soccer Team wins the World Cup.
‘I am not going to fake it, hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am [for] and so many of the things that I actually am,’ the soccer star told Sports Illustrated in May.
‘I have no interest in extending our platform to him.’
The Redding, California native and American poster girl recently became the first openly-gay woman to pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
In 2016, she was the first white athlete to take a knee during a pre-game national anthem performance in solidarity with former Kaepernick, who used the gesture as a means of silent protest against racism and police brutality after a string of high-profile fatal shootings of black Americans by law enforcement officers.
Rapinoe on Monday scored two goals – both on penalty kicks – to lead the Americans to a 2-1 victory over Spain. The win sets up a quarter-final clash with hosts France at the women’s World Cup
Trump embraced the issue as a political cause, frequently criticizing players for taking a knee at games and questioning their patriotism.
Critics have defended their protests as a fundamental American right to free speech.
Rapinoe on Monday scored two goals – both on penalty kicks – to lead the Americans to a 2-1 victory over Spain.
The win sets up a quarter-final clash with hosts France at the women’s World Cup.