The co-captain of the US Women’s World Cup team has said she will not visit Donald Trump’s White House if her side wins the tournament this summer.
“I’m not going to the f***ing White House,” said forward Megan Rapinoe, when asked about a possible congratulatory trip. “No, I’m not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited. I doubt it.”
Rapinoe, 33, has previously attacked Mr Trump as a “sexist” and “misogynistic” and described herself as “a walking protest”.
In 2016 she become one of the first athletes to join Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem.
As advocate for equal pay, Rapinoe is one of 28 players in the squad suing the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination as part of a claim that “female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts”.
Earlier this week Mr Trump discussed the player’s politics, saying he did not think it was appropriate for her to kneel during the anthem while claiming to be a fan of the team. “I love watching women’s soccer. They’re really talented.”
The president could not be drawn on whether women’s team should receive equal pay as men, saying he would have to examine it.
“I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics,” he told The Hill. “I mean who draws more, where is the money coming in.
“I know that when you have the great stars like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and some of these stars … that get paid a lot of money, but they draw hundreds of thousands of people. But I haven’t taken a position on that at all. I’d have to look at it.”
Although she is not kneeling during the anthem at World Cup matches this summer, Ms Rapinoe has so far refused to sing or put her hand over her heart during ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in France.
The US national team, favourite to retain the trophy having triumphed in 2015, is playing hosts France in the quarter-finals on Friday.
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