Megan Rapinoe delivers powerful message to Trump while looking straight into camera: 'Your message is excluding people'

US football captain also insists she would reject any invitation to visit the White House and instead meet with a number of high-profile Democratic lawmakers

Tom Kershaw
Wednesday 10 July 2019 10:59 BST
Megan Rapinoe: US women’s captain sends powerful message to Trump over LGBT+ rights

US World Cup-winning captain Megan Rapinoe has reiterated her resentment of President Donald Trump’s stance on LBGT+ rights

In an interview with CNN‘s Anderson Cooper, Rapinoe stared directly down the camera lens and said: ”Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of colour, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.”

The US talisman, who is also leading the USWNT’s 28 player lawsuit against US Soccer demanding equal pay, also took issue with Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan, claiming it echoes back to an era where not all groups of society were able to live happily.

“You’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone,” the 34-year-old said. ”It might have been great for a few people, and maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it’s not great for enough Americans in this world.

“You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person, and you need to do better for everyone.”

Rapinoe also doubled-down on her decision to reject any invitation from Trump to visit the White House.

During the World Cup, Rapinoe’s “not going to the f*****g White House” comment was made public, with Trump responding claiming that she “should WIN first before the talks!” and “finish the job”.

“We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose,” Trump added. “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.”

Megan Rapinoe poses after opening the scoring in the World Cup final (Getty)
Megan Rapinoe poses after opening the scoring in the World Cup final (Getty) (Getty Images)

Revisiting her comment, Rapinoe said she regretted swearing but firmly stands behind her decision.

“I would not go, and every teammate that I’ve talked to explicitly about it would not go,” she added.

“I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we’ve worked so hard to build, and the things that we fight for, and the way that we live our life -- I don’t think that we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration.”

Megan Rapinoe leads the on-pitch celebrations after USA defeated Netherlands
Megan Rapinoe leads the on-pitch celebrations after USA defeated Netherlands (Getty)

Rapinoe also added that “it didn’t make sense” to visit Trump when “there are so many poeople I would rather talk to and have meaningful conversations that could really affect change in Washington than going to the White House.”

She has instead accepted invitations that she and the USA team received from Democratic lawmakers, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

“This is such a special moment for us, and to be able to sort of leverage this moment and talk about the things that we want to talk about and to celebrate like this with the leaders of our country is an incredible moment,” she said.

“So yes to AOC, yes to Nancy Pelosi, yes to the bipartisan Congress, yes to Chuck Schumer -- yes to anyone else that wants to invite us and have a real substantive conversation, and that believes in the same things that we believe in.”

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