Rapinoe Defends White House Comments After Trump Tweets
U.S. F Megan Rapinoe today indicated that she "stands by her comments" about not wanting to go to the White House following the Women's World Cup, according to the L.A. Times' Helene Elliott. Rapinoe several weeks ago spoke to a soccer magazine and said she is "not going to the f---ing White House" should the team win the tournament. The quote went viral earlier this week and drew a rebuke yesterday from President Trump. Rapinoe today said the only thing she regrets is using the expletive in her quote, as her mother "was upset at her language." She added that she "would not answer any more questions about her White House comments because the game on Friday is the biggest concern" The U.S. plays France tomorrow in a quarterfinal match (TWITTER.com, 6/27). In N.Y., Das & Mather noted Trump yesterday criticized Rapinoe in a series of three tweets in which he wrote Rapinoe "should never disrespect our country, the White House or our flag." Trump: "I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women's Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!" He ended by writing that Rapinoe should be "proud of the flag that you wear." Das & Mather noted Rapinoe is an "outspoken critic of the president." Rapinoe in '16 "became one of the few white players to join Colin Kaepernick and others when they were leading an ongoing protest against racism and police violence by kneeling for the national anthem." U.S. Soccer subsequently "rewrote its rules for national team players," requiring them to "stand respectfully for the anthem." Rapinoe has "stood silently for the anthem ever since" (NYTIMES.com, 6/26).
TEAMMATES HAVE HER BACK: The GUARDIAN's Gemma Clarke notes U.S. D Ali Krieger, F Alex Morgan and D Becky Sauerbrunn "have spoken out in support" of Rapinoe and have been "clear about their refusal to visit" the Trump White House (THEGUARDIAN.com, 6/27). USA TODAY's Nancy Armour wrote the quote that set Trump off is "neither new nor news," as Rapinoe and other members of the U.S. team "have been saying for months they wouldn’t go to the White House should they win the World Cup." Armour: "If you know even the slightest bit about these players, that is no surprise. This is a team suing its own federation for gender discrimination, so, yeah, it’s probably not likely to hobnob with someone with such a long track record of bigotry and misogyny" (USATODAY.com, 6/26).
AMERICA, IN A NUTSHELL: ROLLING STONE's Andrea Marks wrote Rapinoe is "showing an international audience Americans draw a distinction between respecting the country and supporting" the current President (ROLLINGSTONE.com, 6/26). However, YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote under the header, "President Trump Vs. Megan Rapinoe Is Boiling Over But Signifying Nothing." He wrote, "Those who support Trump will support Trump. Those who support Rapinoe will support Rapinoe. ... Stuck in the middle is the American team, which traditionally has been extremely popular with large cross sections of the country" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/26). Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Bill Goodykoontz wrote the U.S. is "so divided at the moment that you can't say 1 and 1 is 2 without somebody calling you a leftist idiot for believing the fake media, or some such." Goodykoontz: "But this, this team, this is something we can all get behind. The U.S. women's team isn't bi-partisan. It's non-partisan (no matter how you feel about Rapinoe's activism). ... It's about time we had something like this to bring us together" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/25).