On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump responded to national anthem-protesting U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe's latest dig — and he didn’t hold back.
In a video interview posted by Eight by Eight on Tuesday, Rapinoe dismissed the idea of accepting an invitation from the president to visit the White House if the U.S. national team were to win the World Cup. “I’m not going to the f***ing White House. No. I’m not going to the White House,” Rapinoe said. “We’re not gonna be invited. I doubt it.”
Trump, posting via Twitter, smacked Rapinoe for jumping the gun on the potential invitation, suggesting she “win first” before making such declarations. He also praised the women’s soccer team as a whole and extended an invitation to the White House for the athletes whether “win or lose.”
“Women’s soccer player, [Megan Rapinoe] just stated that she is ‘not going to the F...ing White House if we win,’” wrote the president. “Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level […] in our Country’s history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House.”
“I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” Trump recommended. “We haven’t yet […] invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose.”
The president then swiped Rapinoe for refusing to place her hand over her heart during the playing of the national anthem before soccer matches.
“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team,” he wrote. “Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!”
In a past interview, Rapinoe said she will “probably never put my hand over my heart” during the anthem again to slight the president, calling the protest an “F you” to “sexist,” “racist,” and “small-minded” Trump. During the team’s first World Cup match, Rapinoe kept her word, refusing to place her hand over her heart or sing along to the anthem as her teammates did.
“So it's kind of a good ‘F you' to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have towards people who don't look exactly like him,” Rapinoe, who is openly gay, told Yahoo! Sports in May, regarding the anthem protest. “Which, God help us if we all looked like him. Scary. Really scary. Ahh, disturbing.”
The 33-year-old previously protested during the playing of the anthem by taking a knee, mimicking former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. But, in response, the United States Soccer Federation amended their bylaws to forbid such action.
"Our national anthem is an opportunity … to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played,” a statement from the organization read.
Trump told The Hill on Monday that he finds the athlete’s anthem protest inappropriate, though he noted that he loves to watch women’s soccer.