After the United States Women’s National Team beat Holland to win the World Cup on Sunday, ESPN ran a story with the headline: “USWNT star Megan Rapinoe makes loud statement to silence critics.”
Rapinoe received some criticism during the tournament for salvos aimed at President Donald J. Trump. She also took some heat for not putting her hand over her heart and singing the anthem, as well as saying she wouldn’t go to the “f-cking White House” if the team won.
So this brought criticism, not just for what she said, but for talking about team plans if they won the tournament, when it hadn’t happened yet.
Trump tweeted: “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 invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose.”
British broadcaster Pier Morgan tweeted, “The arrogance of this is breathtaking. Try winning it first, Ms Rapinoe – then inform us of your latest tiresome political activism.”
After the U.S. women won the World Cup on Sunday, people like Trump and Morgan got blasted for the challenge to win first and then talk.
Kyle Griffin the producer of MSNBC’s “The Last Word” tweeted at Morgan, “This tweet didn’t age well.”
There were many other tweets like this directed at the President, Morgan and others.
While Trump was critical of the political activism during the World Cup, he praised the enormous accomplishment on the field of Rapinoe and her teammates.
On Sunday, before boarding Air Force One in Morristown, N.J. after a weekend retreat, Trump called the victory “an incredible achievement” and described Rapinoe and her teammates as “great players.”
“It’s a great honor to have them capture it for the United States — fourth time — and that’s a tremendous thing,” Trump said. “So congratulations to the team on the World Cup.”
But some wonder if the World Cup win will silence Rapinoe’s critics, since the criticism wasn’t about her enormous soccer talents, but her political activism.
“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 Sports Illustrated in May. “I have no interest in extending our platform to him.”
Instead of visiting the White House, Rapinoe announced she will visit with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Washington D.C..
It’s unclear which of the president’s policies Rapinoe is against.
ESPN’s Alyssa Roenigk wrote that amidst all the controversy surrounding Rapinoe at the World Cup she “showed up to every news conference and answered every question thrown her way.”
But few details were offered on which of the President’s current policies she wants changed.
“To back up all of those words with performances and back up those performances with words, it’s just incredible,” Rapinoe said after the game. “I feel like this team is in the midst of changing the world around us, as we live.”
The plans to do this remain unclear at this point.
But will the big win end the criticism she’s receiving for her political activism, since some people feel one has nothing to do with other.
That remains to be seen.