Megan Rapinoe stands by White House snub, encourages U.S. teammates to follow suit

PARIS — A day after finding herself on the receiving end of a critical Twitter diatribe by President Trump, U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe said she not only stood by her decision not to visit the White House following the ongoing 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, but encouraged her national team teammates not to go, either.

“I’ll address it head on and then we can get to the soccer questions,” Rapinoe said Thursday, opening a press conference a day before the U.S. takes on the host nation in the World Cup quarterfinal. “I stand by the comments I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive – my mom would be very upset about that.

“Considering how much time and effort and pride we take in the platform that we have and using it for good and leaving the game in a better place and hopefully the world in a better place, I don’t think that I would want to go, and I think I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having it co-opted by an administration that doesn’t feel the same way or fight for the same things that we fight for.

“I’ll just leave it at that.”

The match is the biggest of the World Cup so far, but it has been overshadowed somewhat by the controversy brewing back home.

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Megan Rapinoe through the years
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Megan Rapinoe through the years
Megan Rapinoe, a member of the United States women's national soccer team, speaks to reporters during a news conference in New York, Friday, May 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New Zealand defender Ria Percival (2) steals the ball from United States midfielder Megan Rapinoe (15) during the first half of an international friendly soccer match in Commerce City, Colo., Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
United States' Megan Rapinoe, right, celebrates with Sydney Leroux, left, after the U.S. beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
From left, United States' Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday, and Carli Lloyd celebrate after Lloyd scored her second goal of the match against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 28: Carli Lloyd (R) of USA celebrates with team-mates Megan Rapinoe (C) and Heather Mitts after scoring their third goal during the Women's Football first round Group G match between United States and Colombia on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Hampden Park on July 28, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stanley Chou /Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 20: Megan Rapinoe #15 of the USA plays a corner kick against Korea Republic during their game at Red Bull Arena on June 20, 2013 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: U.S. women's national soccer team player Megan Rapinoe poses for a portrait at the USOC Rio Olympics Shoot at Quixote Studios on November 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 14: (L-R) Professional soccer players Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O'Hara, Megan Rapinoe, Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naher and Abby Wambach attend BODY at ESPYs at Milk Studios on July 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ESPN)
REIMS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates scoring a goal from the penalty spot after a VAR during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Round Of 16 match between Spain and USA at Stade Auguste Delaune on June 24, 2019 in Reims, France. (Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images)
REIMS, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Mallory Pugh of the USA celebrates with teammate Megan Rapinoe after scoring her team's eleventh goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group F match between USA and Thailand at Stade Auguste Delaune on June 11, 2019 in Reims, France. (Photo by Alex Caparros - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12: Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States is challenged by Lebohang Ramalepe #2 of South Africa during their International Friendly at Levi's Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
United States' Megan Rapinoe celebrates after scoring her side's second goal during the Women's World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between France and the United States at the Parc des Princes, in Paris, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates scoring the first goal from the penalty spot during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United State of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 07, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates with the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy, the Golden Boot and The Golden Ball following the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 07, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Ashlyn Harris, Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger of the USA celebrate with the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy following the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 07, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
U.S. women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe celebrates with the FIFA Women's World Cup trophy at City Hall after a ticker tape parade, Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: Megan Rapinoe speaks onstage during The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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In response to a video taken in January and posted online on Wednesday, in which Rapinoe said that “I’m not going to the f---ing White House” if the U.S. repeats as champions, Trump invited the team “win or lose” and said that Rapinoe, who has been critical of the president and his policies and previously kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality against minorities, “should never disrespect our country, the White House, or our flag.”

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