'We do carry with us other people': Megan Rapinoe views Donald Trump's tweets as a positive

The United States women’s national team is on a celebratory whip for the ages, from partying in the locker room after winning back-to-back World Cup titles to the current swing through media appearances back home.

Arguably no one has more to comment on than superstar Megan Rapinoe, who not only won the World Cup golden treble but struck a harsh note with President Donald Trump and didn’t step back from it. In fact, during an appearance with Alex Morgan at ESPN on Tuesday, she said it was a positive thing and put the moment into perspective.

“I think we know who won that,” Morgan said.

“Yeah. I held up my end of the bargain on that one,” added Rapinoe.

Rapinoe: USWNT ‘so much more’ than players

Rapinoe stays silent during the singing of the national anthem to protest injustice and inequality, something she’s done since 2016 and has spoken about in detail. Trump has said he doesn’t believe it’s appropriate.

She is, in her words, “a walking protest” and is vocal for causes she believes in. It’s in part why she has said she won’t go to the celebration at the White House. Then months old footage was released prior to the match against France that prompted a rant by Trump on Twitter.

“I’m not going to the f---ing White House,” Rapinoe said. “... We’re not going to be invited. I doubt it.”

Trump tweeted she should “WIN before she TALKS!” and decided he would extend the invite if the U.S. won gold. (He has not done so yet, but did offer congratulations on Twitter.)

Rapinoe’s explanation on ESPN put the focus on what this team, through the generations from the ‘99ers to the ’19ers, means to the country. And it has long meant more than wins on a pitch as Rapinoe eloquently explains.

“Honesty, I see it as a positive thing. I think when it was happening we did keep a really tight bubble and the whole group was so supportive of me, but it did feel positive in a way. Obviously, I think the tweets were negative in tone as he usually does, but I think we just even more so realized in that moment we’re so much more than what we are on the field. And I think this team really understands and is so prideful that we do carry with us other people when we step out on the pitch.

It’s the game of course and we want to win, but knowing the impact that we have already had and knowing the impact that we were gonna have when we came home, the motivation of just that alone is incredible. I really feel like we do this for our group, for ourselves, for our team, for our staff, for our friends and family and for everyone. I think we always want to try to bring more people into the conversation. We want to have the conversation, we want to open it up to everyone.

I think obviously we are very lucky to wear the shirt and represent America in a way that no team really does. We’re very lucky to play all types of games all year long and I think we do an incredible of representing every American.”

The brewing feud drew battle lines between those in support of the president and those who agreed with Rapinoe. Rapinoe never once took back her original comments (she did apologize for swearing) and instead defended her activism by describing herself as “deeply” and “extremely American.”

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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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USWNT ‘wants to change the world’

In the segment, Rapinoe and Morgan were asked about their legacy. The 2019 team is already considered the greatest women’s soccer team of all time; Rapinoe and Morgan reiterated previous comments that their work goes beyond back-to-back victories on the World Cup stage.

Rapinoe told ESPN:

“We want to change the world. We want to change the way that people look at us, that people look at young girls, that people look at young boys. we want to change the game forever.”

Rapinoe and Morgan said they want to keep moving the needle forward so each group behind them has an easier time, such as the 1999 team did for them 20 years ago.

The USWNT will celebrate with a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes in New York City on Wednesday morning. That evening they’ll be in Los Angeles for the ESPYs.

The lawsuit the team filed against U.S. Soccer months prior to the tournament will be the next focus. Morgan said they’re “optimistic” about having a collaborative approach with the federation.

21 PHOTOS
USWNT highlights from the Women's World Cup
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USWNT highlights from the Women's World Cup
LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Sari Van Veenendaal of the Netherlands reaches for the ball as Rose Lavelle of the USA scores her team's second goal during 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 Richard Heathcote - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Alex Morgan of the USA is fouled by Stefanie Van der Gragt of the Netherlands leading to a penalty during 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 Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates with teammate Alex Morgan after scoring her team's first goal during 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 Caparros - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
LYON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates with teammates after scoring her team's first goal 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 Naomi Baker - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
United States' Alex Morgan, left, competes for the ball against France's Elise Bussaglia 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)
United States goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher (1) deflects the ball away from France's Valerie Gauvin 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)
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)
Players of England celebrate after winning the Women's World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Norway and England at the Oceane stadium in Le Havre, France, Thursday, June 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
United States' Kelley O Hara leaps over Sweden's Kosovare Asllani during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between Sweden and the United States at Stade Océane, in Le Havre, France, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 16: Julie Ertz of USA #8 celebrates her goal with Mallory Pugh, Lindsey Horan, Morgan Brian during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group F match between USA and Chile at Parc des Princes stadium on June 16, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
LE HAVRE, FRANCE - JUNE 20: Lindsey Horan of the USA scores her team's first goal the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group F match between Sweden and USA at Stade Oceane on June 20, 2019 in Le Havre, France. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
United States' Carli Lloyd, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring their side's third goal during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between United States and Chile at Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Chile goalkeeper Claudia Endler lunges for the ball to make a safe during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between United States and Chile at Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Sunday, June 16, 2019. US won 3-0. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
United States' Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between the United States and Chile at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
United States' Carli Lloyd, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between United States and Chile at Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Lloyd scored twice in US' 3-0 victory. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
United States' Megan Rapinoe, right, congratulates teammate Alex Morgan after scoring her fifth goal during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between the United States and Thailand at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
United States' Alex Morgan, centre, scores her team's fifth goal during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between the United States and Thailand at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
REIMS, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Mallory Pugh of USA shots to 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 Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
REIMS, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Megan Rapinoe of United States of America celebrates with the supporters after 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 TF-Images/Getty Images)
REIMS, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Mallory Pugh of the USA celebrates 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 Cathrin Mueller - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
REIMS, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Final score on the scoreboard after 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 TF-Images/Getty Images)
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