In fact, she doesn’t think the record-breaking team will even be offered the opportunity.
“I’m not going to the fucking White House,” she scoffed when asked if she was excited at the prospect of such a visit during interview clips Eight by Eight magazine released Tuesday.
“We’re not gonna be invited,” she added. “I doubt it.”
Rapinoe elaborated in the print version of the interview published earlier this month.
“[Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline,” she said. “Or, like he did when the (NBA’s Golden State) Warriors turned him down (in 2017), he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place.”
Trump canceled a visit by the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles to honor their February 2018 Super Bowl win after most of the team’s players vowed to skip it. Based on comments by some players on the Toronto Raptors, the newly crowned NBA champs, a trip by the team to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is in doubt.
And although several college teams that have won championships in various sports have made the White House stop, this year’s winner of the NCAA men’s basketball championship ― the University of Virginia ― conspicuously skipped a visit, citing logistical complications.
The clip of Rapinoe’s comments come a day after Trump told The Hill news outlet that he didn’t think it was appropriate for her to protest during the national anthem at games ― an issue he has harped on since former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in August 2016 took a knee during the song to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
In September of that year, Rapinoe became the first prominent white or female athlete to kneel during the anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick. In an apparent response to her actions six months later, the U.S. Soccer Federation amended its regulations to require all players to “stand respectfully” when the national anthem is played at games.
So instead of kneeling during while the anthem has played throughout the Women’s World Cup, Rapinoe has declined to sing it and has stood with her hand at her side instead of over her heart.
She has also been involved in legal challenges demanding equal pay for female soccer players. And last June, she and WNBA star Sue Bird became the first openly gay couple to appear on the cover of ESPN’s iconic body issue.
The women’s soccer team has advanced to the World Cup’s quarterfinals and will play France on Friday.
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