Sportswomen like Meagan Rapinoe are stepping up and showing leadership in and outside of their sport. In this article in the Washington Post read how Rapinoe puts Donald Trump back in his box.
The day before the U.S. women’s soccer team took on France in a World Cup quarterfinal, President Trump attacked his nation’s captain Meagan Rapinoe on Twitter. Trump had taken umbrage at a video that showed Megan Rapinoe, a purple-haired winger and the team’s co-captain, saying that she would not be “going to the f—ing White House” should the United States win its fourth World Cup later this month.
Because of the remarks, Trump accused Rapinoe of showing “disrespect” to the country, the White House and even the American flag. The president, who is hardly bashful about his own imagined successes, also lectured Rapinoe on “finishing the job” before deciding whether to turn down a triumphal White House visit. (For good measure, he said he would invite the women’s team, even in defeat.) Rapinoe, 34, first let her feet do the talking, scoring two goals that led the United States to victory over the tournament’s hosts and to a Tuesday semifinal against England.
Then she told reporters that she was not backing down from her stance. “I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive. My mom will be very upset about that,” Rapinoe said. She added that she would “encourage” her teammates to decide for themselves whether it’s worth being “co-opted by an administration that doesn’t feel the same way and doesn’t fight for same things that we fight for.” From all accounts, her teammates are fully behind her.
image above © NBC Washington
Jill Ellis, the national team’s coach, even suggested that Trump’s scolding added fuel to Rapinoe’s fire. “You can hear it in her comments and how she presents herself. She’s a very experienced, eloquent person,” said Ellis. “I would . . . point to the performance tonight, and I’d say, if anything, this stuff just bounces off her; I think it even pushes her forward.”
The women’s game has taken significant strides in recent years, but it’s still in the shadow of men’s soccer, which commands far greater attention and resources. (Of course, within the women’s game, the discrepancies between the support U.S. and European athletes receive and that on offer for women from poorer countries are vast, too.)
The best male players are global icons with lucrative sponsorship deals and huge entourages of public relations managers and brand representatives. Superstars such as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo may appear on billboards in every corner of the planet, but their public utterances are almost always dull and safe.
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