US Soccer Star Rapinoe Accepts Ocasio-Cortez’s Capitol Hill Invite, Remains Defiant Toward Trump

June 29, 2019 Updated: June 29, 2019

Following a bold display of defiance toward President Donald Trump, U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe has now accepted an invitation from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to tour Capitol Hill at any time the team wishes.

Ocasio-Cortez extended the invitation on June 28 after news the U.S. women’s soccer team had defeated France 2-1 in a World Cup match.

“It may not be the White House, but we’d be happy to welcome & the entire for a tour of the House of Representatives anytime they’d like,” the freshman congresswoman posted on her Twitter.

Rapinoe, co-captain of the team, accepted the invitation hours later. She said, “Consider it done [AOC].”

This comes after the president told Rapinoe to “never disrespect our country” in a tweet on June 26, after the co-captain said she would not visit the White House if her team wins the World Cup.

“I’m not going to the [expletive] White House,” Rapinoe told Eight By Eight Magazine. “No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited… I doubt it.”

Responding to the comments, 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!”

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House on April 26, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Rapinoe refused to concede and instead doubled down on her earlier comments on June 27. She said, “I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive—my mom will be very upset about that,” during a press conference in Paris.

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, in support of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the anthem to protest against perceived racism and inequality by law enforcement toward African Americans.

She 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.

“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.

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)

“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.”

In response, Trump described Rapinoe’s protest as not appropriate in an interview with The Hill.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
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