When Megan Rapinoe is not dodging defenders on the soccer field, she is dodging insults from President Trump. In another one of his Twitter rants, Trump scorned the 33-year-old United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) forward for well, scorning him.
The ongoing spat between the two resumed when a video of Rapinoe was posted by the soccer magazine Eight by Eight of Rapinoe replying to a question asked about going to the White House if the USWNT wins the World Cup.
“I’m not going to the f**king White House,” Rapinoe declared. “We’re not gonna be invited.”
That rustled Trump’s feathers and prompted him to try and one-up her on Wednesday.
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
What once was known as congenial pomp and circumstance for any major professional or college champions to visit the White House, has now become a political football.
On Thursday, Rapinoe said during a news conference that she stands by her comments. But she did apologize for using an expletive.
“I stand by the comments”: U.S. women’s soccer team star Megan Rapinoe doubled down on her comments that she would not be going to the White House if her team wins the World Cup Thursday. https://t.co/o4lchXVRMY pic.twitter.com/VCOZVIOQzA
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 28, 2019
The history of teams visiting the White House dates back to 1865 (when two amateur baseball teams visited President Andrew Johnson). And while other major sports celebrities have declined the invitation in the past, it has become par for the course to snub Trump.
Two of the biggest basketball players in the world passed on the opportunity to visit the people’s house after their respective teams hoisted the trophy. Both LeBron James and Steph Curry declined the White House visit.
For years, Rapinoe has opted to remain silent and knelt during the national anthem. She does not kneel for the World Cup but rather protests by not singing the national anthem while her teammates do.
It is unknown how this feud between Trump and Rapinoe will end. But it is worrisome that athletes are being criticized for standing up for what they believe in.