Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, had a searing message for President Donald Trump.
“You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person” in America, she said during a Tuesday interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who asked her what she’d say to Trump if he were watching.
“You need to do better for everyone,” Rapinoe said.
She later confirmed to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Trump had yet to invite the women’s soccer team to the White House following their recent World Cup victory.
“I would not go and every teammate that I’ve talked to explicitly about it would not go,” she told Cooper.
“I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform we’ve worked so hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our lives ― I don’t think we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration,” Rapinoe said, explaining why she and her teammates would skip a trip to the White House.
“There are so many other people that I would rather talk to and have meaningful conversations that could really affect change in Washington than go to the White House,” she added.
The athlete later said that she says “yes” to the invitations extended by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for the team to visit the U.S. Capitol.
In her message to Trump, Rapinoe, who is gay, urged the president to embrace a more inclusionary agenda.
“Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me. You’re excluding people that look like me. You’re excluding people of color. You’re excluding ... Americans that maybe support you,” she said.
“Make America Great Again” is “harking back to an era that wasn’t great for everyone,” Rapinoe continued. “It might’ve been great for a few people. Maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it’s not great for enough Americans.”