United States star Rapinoe angered Trump when she suggested "she wouldn't go to the f***ing White House" if her team claims victory in the Women's World Cup in France.
Trump reacted angrily telling her to "finish the job" only for Rapinoe to go on to score two more goals in the quarter-final victory over the hosts to seal USA's place in the last four.
Sue Bird, herself a professional athlete with the Seattle Storm of the WNBA, describes the events of the past fortnight as "weird" and that she had "freaked out a little" in a revealing article on The Player's Tribune.
"That’s one thing that you kind of have to know about me and Megan: our politics are similar - after we won the WNBA title in Seattle last season, no way were we going to the f***ing White House! - but our dispositions are not," she writes. "And as we’ve been talking through a lot of this 'stuff,' as it’s been happening to her, you know, I’ll be honest here some of it scares the sh*t out of me!!"
Rapinoe has experienced a rollercoaster tournament starring on the field with five goals already while making headlines off it for her stance against Trump.
But Bird says the whole experience is making her even stronger as a result.
"Megan, man, I’ll tell you what. You just cannot shake that girl. She’s going to do her thing, at her own damn speed, to her own damn rhythm, and she’s going to apologise to exactly NO ONE for it," she added. "So when all the Trump business started to go down last week, I mean - the fact that Megan just seemed completely unfazed?
"It’s strange to say, but that was probably the only normal thing about it. It’s not an act with her. It’s not a deflection. To me it’s more just like: Megan is at the boss level in the video game of knowing herself. She’s always been confident but that doesn’t mean she’s always been immune. She’s as sensitive as anyone, maybe more! She’s just figured out how to harness that sensitivity.
"I think Megan’s sensitivity is what drives her to fight for others. I think it’s what drove her to take a knee. The Megan you’re seeing now? It’s the stronger version of the one who knelt in the first place. All the threats, all the criticism, all the fallout - coming out on the other side of that is what makes her seem so unfazed by the assholes of the world now.
"I think in trying to help others, Megan has cemented who she is."
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