At An Inspiring Women's World Cup, Megan Rapinoe Has Emerged As Its Loudest Hero
As arguably the most high profile and successful women’s World Cup approaches its conclusion, there’s one player who has grabbed more than a few headlines – and not all of them solely for her ability on the pitch. US attacking midfielder, Megan Rapinoe, has made a name for herself in what has developed into a war of words with US president, Donald Trump.
All things considered, you have to say fair play, really.
Big tournament favoutites, the US national side is the most attacking women’s football team in the world. On Friday, this dominance was displayed in their 2-1 defeat of host nation, France. The victory came after Rapinoe scored two goals for the US team, and her fifth goal of the tournament, placing her in the same category as Alex Morgan and Australia’s Sam Kerr.
It’s been an incredible campaign for the 33-year-old American football star. Rapinoe helped make sporting history with the United States team, having won their last ten games in a row in the Women’s World Cup, setting a new tournament record.
It’s sad then, that such displays of athleticism – dedication, unwavering motivation, and exceptional teamwork – have been marred by comments made by Donald Trump. Perhaps it merely is a sign of the times; neither a sporting contest nor Royal visit escapes the President without warranting some kind of sneer or ignorant retort. For the most part, we’ve grown accustomed to it by now. But we can’t help but shake our heads at what is becoming an incredibly ability from the President to take a good, heartfelt moment – and ruin it.
When the US team found victory over France, the win – and Megan Rapinoe’s goals – were slighted by the Trump saga. The football star previously said in an interview with Eight by Eight magazine, “I’m not going to the f****** White House.”
At the time, Rapinoe was responding to a question about the prospect of a White House visit, should the US women’s team be successful in clinching a FIFA World Cup victory. Her unfiltered response prompted a series of tweets from Trump however, who mockingly said that Rapinoe should “WIN first before she TALKS!”
....invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
Rapinoe became one of the first athletes to join the NFL player Colin Kaepernick in protest against alleged police brutality by kneeling during the American national anthem. While team regulations have since been changed, Rapinoe now refuses to sing the national anthem.
Trump has gone on to claim Rapinoe’s comments were disrespectful. But Rapinoe has refused to back down, claiming the President is sexist and misogynistic, and that she is a “walking protest.” In a post-match interview, Rapinoe said, “I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House with exception of the expletive. My mum will be very upset about that.”
Rapinoe added, “Considering how much time and effort and pride we take in the platform we have, using it for good and leaving the game in a better place and hopefully the world in a better place, I don’t think I would want to go. I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn’t feel the same way and doesn’t fight for the same things we fight for.”
But Zac Efron also took to Twitter to show his support for both the US team and Rapinoe, saying “I’m dying my hair purple. Let’s go!” to show his support for the US’ star player.
The US will now take on England in the semi-final of the World Cup on Tuesday.