Megan Rapinoe, star of the World Cup champion U.S. Women’s National Team, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday that she refuses to lend credibility to the Trump administration by accepting an invitation to the White House.
In the interview, Rapinoe rejected the division Trump sows while embracing a vision of America that welcomes people from all walks of life.
Asked by Cooper what message she had for Trump, Rapinoe replied: “I think that I would say that your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me. You’re excluding people that look like me. You’re excluding people of color. You’re excluding, you know, Americans that maybe support you.”
Rapinoe, described by Deadspin as a “purple-haired lesbian goddess” after she helped lead the U.S. team to a 2-1 victory over France in the World Cup quarterfinals, seemed to be referencing the Trump administration’s numerous attacks on the LGBTQ community.
“I think that we need to have a reckoning with the message that you have and what you’re saying about ‘make America great again,'” Rapinoe continued in her message to Trump. “I think that you’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people, and maybe America is great for a few people now, but it’s not great for enough Americans in this world.”
“I think we have a responsibility, each and every one of us — you have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country — to take care of every single person,” Rapinoe added. “And you need to do better for everyone.”
Later, Rapinoe called on all Americans to reflect on how to build that more perfect union. “We need to constantly look within and challenge ourselves to be better, so everyone else can be better around us,” she said.
Rapinoe made headlines in the midst of the World Cup when a video of her preemptively rejecting an invitation to the White House was released.
“I’m not going to the fucking White House,” Rapinoe said in the video. Rapinoe subsequently apologized for the use of the f-word, but told Cooper that she “meant it with all the inflection and attitude I gave with it. I meant all of it and every word of it.”
In the middle of the World Cup, Trump attacked Rapinoe, saying, “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” Trump also questioned Rapinoe’s patriotism: “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.”
After Trump’s attack, Rapinoe’s teammate, Ali Krieger, shot back at him: “I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe [Rapinoe] and will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.”
After Trump’s attacks, Rapinoe went on to score both goals in her team’s 2-1 victory over France, and one of the team’s two goals in the World Cup final.
When asked by Cooper about the possibility of visiting the White House, Rapinoe once again rejected the notion.
“I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform we’ve worked hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our life, I don’t think we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration,” Rapinoe told Cooper.
“There’s so many other people that I would rather talk to and have meaningful conversations that could really affect change in Washington than going to the White House,” she added.
Rapinoe said she will accept the invitations issued by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Congress. But she won’t step foot in the White House while Trump is there.
Published with permission of The American Independent.