“History has just been made,” senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot said from a pub in Lyon, the tournament’s host city, shortly after the U.S. victory.
Behind him, a group of spectators who appeared to be mainly Americans began hollering the chant making clear their disdain for President Donald Trump. Palkot paused as he realized the celebrants were delivering a political message. Still, he maintained composure and carried on with his coverage.
The U.S. women’s team beat the Netherlands 2-0, earning its fourth World Cup title. Co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who scored the game’s first goal, also was at the center of a political brouhaha that may have inspired the chant interrupting Palkot’s report.
Asked in an interview last month whether, if the squad won the cup and got an invite to the White House, she would attend, Rapinoe balked at the idea in an expletive-laden response.
“I’m not going to the fucking White House,” Rapinoe told Eight by Eight magazine, adding that she doubted the team would be invited anyway. Her comment gained wide attention when Eight by Eight released a clip of her comment during the cup tournament’s early stages.
Trump responded in a series of tweets, calling himself “a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer,” adding that “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS!”
Trump then extended an invite to the team, win or lose.
On Saturday, Rapinoe told reporters “not many, if any” of her teammates would accept the offer.