President Trump Tells US Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe to ‘Never Disrespect Our Country’

June 26, 2019 Updated: June 29, 2019

President Donald Trump told U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe to “never disrespect our country” on June 26 after the co-captain said she would not visit the White House if her team wins the World Cup.

In a recent interview with Eight By Eight Magazine, Rapinoe was asked whether she was excited to go to the White House, assuming that her team would win the World Cup.

“I’m not going to the [expletive] White House,” the U.S. women’s soccer team co-captain responded. “No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited… I doubt it.”

Rapinoe is openly critical of the president and garnered extensive attention after she refused to sing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the team’s first World Cup match against Thailand on June 11. She also received backlash for becoming the first white athlete to kneel during the anthem in 2016 to show support for NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the anthem to protest against perceived racism and inequality by law enforcement toward African Americans.

Following Rapinoe’s remarks in her recent interview, Trump took the opportunity to admonish the soccer star for conduct that he believes disrespects the White House, the flag, and the country.

“Women’s soccer player, , just stated that she is ‘not going to the [expletive] White House if we win.’ 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,” Trump said. “I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!”

He then extended an invitation to the U.S. women’s soccer team to visit the White House regardless of whether the team brings back the World Cup.

“We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose,” he said. “Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!”

This comes after Trump said on June 24 that he thought it was not appropriate for Rapinoe to protest during the national anthem.

During a recent interview with The Hill, Trump was asked whether he thought Rapinoe’s decision to protest the national anthem was appropriate.

“No. I don’t think so,” Trump responded.

Rapinoe previously told Yahoo News that she would not put her hand over her heart or sing the national anthem after the United States Soccer Federation implemented a rule that requires players to “stand and honor the flag,” in response to Rapinoe’s kneeling.

In this Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, file photo, United States’ Megan Rapinoe, right, kicks the ball past Sweden’s Lisa Dahlkvist. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

“Using this blanketed patriotism as a defense against what the protest actually is was pretty cowardly. I think the NFL does it. I felt like the statement from U.S. Soccer, and then the rule they made without ever talking to me, that was the same as what the NFL was doing—just to not have the conversation, to try to just stop me from doing what I’m doing instead of at least having a conversation, and trying to figure out a [solution] that makes sense for everyone,” she told the news website.

“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart. I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again,” she also said during the interview.

She gave her reasoning: “Because I’m as talented as I am, I get to be here, you don’t get to tell me if I can be here or not. So it’s kind of a good [expletive] you to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have toward people who don’t look exactly like him.”

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
RECOMMENDED
TOP VIDEOS