President Donald Trump has invited the U.S. women's soccer team to the White House, regardless of whether they win the World Cup, after Megan Rapinoe's assertion that she is "not going to the f---ing White House."
Rapinoe, who has described herself as a "walking protest" to Trump's policies, made her recent comments about a potential White House visit to soccer magazine Eight by Eight.
"I'm not going to the f---ing White House," Rapinoe, the team's co-captain, said during the interview, which was posted to the magazine's Twitter account Tuesday. "No. I'm not going to the White House. We're not going to be invited. I doubt it."
Trump responded Wednesday morning with a series of tweets.
Women's soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is "not going to the F...ing White House if we win." Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
....in our Country's history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House. I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women's Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven't yet....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
....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
Trump called out Rapinoe earlier this week for her protests during the national anthem, telling The Hill in an interview Monday that he disagrees with her actions.
After Rapinoe started kneeling during the anthem, the U.S. Soccer Federation adopted a policy that requires players to stand during it. Now she stands, but she has been criticized for not singing and putting her hand over her heart like other players.
Rapinoe, who scored two goals Monday against Spain to help the U.S. reach the World Cup quarterfinals, previously stated that she would "absolutely not" visit the White House in an interview last month with Sports Illustrated.
"I am not going to fake it, hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am (for) and so many of the things that I actually am," Rapinoe told SI. "I have no interest in extending our platform to him."
Fellow U.S. star Alex Morgan also has said she would decline an invitation to the White House, telling Time Magazine that she doesn't "stand for a lot of things the current office stands for."
"We don't have to be put in this little box," Morgan told Time in an interview published last month. "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?"
U.S. teammate Ali Krieger tweeted in support of Rapinoe on Wednesday afternoon.
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
Rapinoe, Morgan and the U.S. team will face host nation France in a World Cup quarterfinal Friday in Paris. Rapinoe is set to address the media Thursday.