U.S. Women’s Soccer star Megan Rapinoe told a French newspaper that “not many, if any” of her teammates on this year’s World Cup roster would attend a meeting with Donald Trump at the White House, Yahoo News reports.
Rapinoe, who most certainly doesn’t see eye to eye with Trump and who has been in a public Twitter dispute with him for weeks now, has made it clear that she won’t be going to the White House. She specifically said she’s not going to “the f**king White House,” a statement she made before she was ever invited.
In a series of tweets, Trump at first said that Rapinoe should focus on winning before discussing the traditional post-championship invitation to the White House. He then invited the team to the White House, win or lose.
Megan is still not going. Neither are her teammates Ali Krieger and Alex Morgan, who have both publicly said that they would decline an invitation to the White House as well; Krieger, specifically, said the she’s not going to respect a man who “warrants no respect.”
Speaking to the French press in advance of Sunday’s final against the Netherlands, Rapinoe re-iterated that neither she nor her two teammates who have already publicly discussed the matter will be going. She doubts anyone else on the team will, either. “I haven’t spoken to everyone about it, obviously not myself, not Ali Krieger, and I suspect not many, if any, of the other players,” she said.
FT: Sweden 0-2 USA— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 20, 2019
Goals from Lindsay Horan and Tobin Heath mean #FIFAWWC holders USA win Group F. It's nine wins in nine for the USA.
Sweden finish in second spot and will also head to the knock-out stages.
➡ https://t.co/Q6CvYTlcPd #SWEUSA pic.twitter.com/rtwqShSDU0
It bears noting that the full roster of the United States Women’s National Team includes 23 players. As of this writing, 20 of them have said nothing, one way or the other, about Donald Trump or about whether or not they would attend a post-championship meeting with him at the White House.
As for Megan herself, she’s been criticized by some for being “un-American,” both for refusing to meet with Donald Trump at the White House, and for declining to place or hand over her heart, or sing (or mouth) the words to the national anthem, while it’s being played. But in an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, Megan called herself “particularly and uniquely and very deeply American.”
As for the post-championship meeting at the White House, Megan and whichever of her teammates decline the invitation wouldn’t be the first professional athletes to skip such a meeting. For almost as long as presidents have been inviting championship-winning teams to the Oval Office, certain individual athletes have declined such meetings.