They haven’t even won the World Cup but the members of the United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) are declining an invitation to visit the White House. There isn’t anything new or bold about liberal sports personalities making a political statement by thumbing their noses at the president but in this case, the buzz being created in the press is all premature. The American women are still in the mix for the title. The World Cup series being played in France hasn’t come to its conclusion yet.
On June 14 I wrote about Megan Rapinoe and her refusal to honor the American flag at the beginning of soccer games. She was the first white sports player to kneel during the national anthem in solidarity with football player Colin Kaepernick. The U.S. soccer federation banned such protests so now Rapinoe makes her statement by refusing to sing the national anthem or put her hand over her heart. No one questions her right to do so but it is particularly bad form to do it overseas. There used to be an unspoken agreement that politics end at the water’s edge. That was then and this is now.
If Rapinoe was an honest broker, she would admit that she silently protests at the beginning of soccer games because Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. She isn’t kneeling about police relations with the black community, as was Kaepernick’s original intention. She protests President Trump. Above all else, the #Resist crowd keeps their mantra of #OrangeManBad front and center. Absolutely every aspect of life is viewed with that lens and to be honest, it is crippling them. The left and some former Republicans despise Donald Trump even more so than other Republican presidents.
It is not a new move to refuse an invitation to visit the White House and be congratulated by the president. I remember sports players doing the same to President Obama and President Bush, but on a smaller scale. Now, however, it is almost expected that players will don their social justice warrior caps and make a statement to the press. The publicity for their decision to not visit the White House is the most important part of the process, you know.
Megan Rapinoe, a team captain, was asked if she would accept an invitation to the White House after the World Cup series by a soccer magazine reporter. Her answer was on point. As a bonus, she dropped an f-bomb.
Rapinoe’s remarks surfaced in a short video interview with soccer magazine Eight By Eight. Asked by a reporter if she was “excited” to go to the White House, Rapinoe scoffed and emphatically replied, “I’m not going to the f*****g White House.” She added, “No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not gonna be invited. I doubt it.”
Naturally, President Trump saw her statement and responded. That was the whole purpose of her answer, after all. Her actions are all about garnering publicity. Trump pointed out via Twitter that maybe the team should win the championship series before declining an invitation that hadn’t even been extended. That didn’t sit well with Rapinoe’s pals on the team.
Alex Morgan already made her intention to refuse such an invitation known back in May.
Morgan, who has previously been outspoken about Trump and his administration’s policies, told Time Magazine in a lengthy profile published Thursday she doesn’t stand for what the current president stands for.
“I don’t stand for a lot of things the current office stands for,” she said, adding that she doesn’t care for the administration’s policies about separating migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We don’t have to be put in this little box,” Morgan said. “There’s the narrative that’s been said hundreds of times about any sort of athlete who’s spoken out politically. ‘Stick to sports.’ We’re much more than that, OK?”
Morgan has spoken out several times against the Trump administration in the past.
In 2017, the 29-year-old forward tweeted she was in “shock and disbelief” over the president’s 2017 decision to suspend immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Ali Krieger doesn’t want to go because of Trump’s LGBTQ policies or something. It always strikes me as ironic when President Trump is criticized as being anti-LGBTQ when he was the first GOP presidential nominee ever to specifically voice support for LGBTQ Americans at the Republican National Convention. She was triggered when President Trump tweeted that Rapinoe should show respect for America while overseas, representing our country.
In regards to the “President’s” tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.
— Ali Krieger (@alikrieger) June 26, 2019
Abby Wambach weighed in, too.
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
Thank you for your leadership @mPinoe.
Love & Solidarity.
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 26, 2019
One supporter tweeted a photo of the team with their preferred president – just in case you didn’t get the message.
Oh my gosh look! It’s Megan Rapinoe at the White House! It’s almost like it’s just the guy who lives there NOW she doesn’t feel like visiting. “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Thank you for your leadership, @mPinoe pic.twitter.com/sch0tmikc2
— Glennon Doyle (@GlennonDoyle) June 26, 2019
President Trump stated his intention to invite the team to the White House, win or lose. You knew he would, didn’t you?
Sports players making political statements should remember that not all fans are of the same political affiliation. Some people don’t even want to be bothered with politics. A quick glance at the responses to any of the women’s tweets shows that there are plenty of soccer fans who are not on board with the social justice warrior train.
The World Cup continues in France. Good luck to the American women, politics aside.