Megan Rapinoe has explained how she deals with her parents watching Fox News, in light of the attacks some of its hosts and contributors leveled at her during the U.S. women’s soccer team’s recent World Cup-winning run in France.
“I’m very similar to how they are, even though I think my dad voted for Trump and I’ll say: ’I don’t get it. How are you simultaneously as proud as punch of me, and watching Fox News all the time, [who are doing] takedowns of your daughter?” the team’s co-captain told The Guardian in an interview published Saturday. “That’s why I’m like: ‘You guys need to go to therapy.’”
Rapinoe, who is gay, drew ire from Fox News personalities after she used her platform to speak out against President Donald Trump and his administration and call for the U.S. Soccer Federation to pay the women’s national team the same as its male counterparts.
The star midfielder declared during the tournament that she wouldn’t visit the “fucking White House” if invited by Trump, who later attacked her on Twitter.
Rapinoe called her online clash with the president “ridiculous and absurd.” “People were like: ‘That was so intense!’ And I’m like: ‘Honestly, he’s a fucking joke, so it wasn’t intense, because this is ridiculous,’” she said.
Earlier in the interview, the 34-year-old also recalled growing up learning unspoken lessons about equality in what was a nonpolitical household. “Both of my parents should be really progressive ― especially my mom ― and I don’t get that they’re not,” she said. “I’m always saying: ‘You guys should really be Democrats!’ But they’re not, so what’s happening?”
Their differences in political opinions have led to some major blowups, she acknowledged. But Rapinoe remains close to her family.
“It’s not like: ‘Ugh, I’m from a conservative town and I never talk to them any more.’ I talk to my parents all the time, every day. And I feel like I have seen progress and growth,” she noted. “I would love it if people understood you should never say racist things and be OK with gay people, or whatever it is. But, obviously, it doesn’t happen that quickly.”