U.S. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe recently called out President Trump ahead of her team's victory parade, telling Anderson Cooper that Trump's "message is excluding people." She also reaffirmed her position on any potential White House visit, saying, "I would not go to the White House, and every teammate I've talked with won't go either." The interview came just before Rapinoe and US Women’s National Team celebrated their World Cup victory with droves of cheering fans.
"I couldn’t be more proud to be a co-captain with Carli and Alex with this team," Rapinoe said during her speech. "It’s my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field."
She later continued to take on the current presidential administration: "We have to be better. We have to love more and talk less. We got to listen more and talk less. We got to know that this is every person’s responsibility," she said. "Yes we play sports. Yes we play soccer. Yes we’re female athletes, but we’re so much more than that. You’re so much more than that. How do you make your community better?"
"Your message is excluding people. You're excluding me. You're excluding people that look like me. You're excluding people of color. You're excluding... Americans that maybe support you."
US Women’s National Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe's message to Pres. Trump. pic.twitter.com/4PbKx0hSxv— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 10, 2019
During her conversation with Cooper, Rapinoe also spoke about her choice to kneel during the National Anthem, explaining that from her perspective it is difficult but not disrespectful.
She later went on to speak candidly about her sexuality, revealing that she did not realize she was gay until she was in college.
US women's national soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe didn't realize she was gay until she was in college. "It's so embarrassing because I'm just very gay but... as soon as it clicked... I was like 'ah! she has arrived. She's here. Her life is beginning.'" pic.twitter.com/fQpd7V4kEQ— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 10, 2019
Elaborating on the teams big win, Rapinoe shared that they all had an idea that it would be "bigger than soccer."
This appears to have been a reference to Rapinoe stating ahead of the game that she would not go to visit the White House, which resulted in Trump stating that the team should win the game first.
“I am aware this was a huge win for us in many ways…I think we knew that this win…was going to be bigger than soccer,” US Women’s National Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe tells @andersoncooper, nodding to her feud with Pres. Trump, and her and her teammates’ fight for equal pay. pic.twitter.com/WCwC4LE2II— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 10, 2019
Next up, Rapinoe says that she “definitely” has her sights set on the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.