"I'm not going to the White House," quipped Megan Rapinoe, interviewed by an American football magazine, if she was eager to go to the White House after the FIFA Women's World Cup in France, where she is currently captain of the US team.
"I doubt we are invited," added the 33-year-old playmaker in a photo shoot for Eight by eight, published Tuesday night.
Rapinoe said at Thursday's press conference, in anticipation of the US quarter-final against France, that she had made those comments several months ago and that she was not sure she was going to be there. So no worries about the consequences for the locker room.
The captain also said however that she was maintaining the statement "with the exception of swearing, my mother would not be happy with that." Rapinoe pointed out that she did not want the US women's program of the team to be co-opted by an administration "that is not fighting for the same goals as those for which we are fighting".
President Donald Trump responded to Rapinoe's comments by addressing an invitation to the team as part of a generally robust response on Twitter.
"We have not yet invited Megan or the team, but I now invite the team to win or lose," tweeted Trump on Wednesday. "I'm a big fan of the US team and women's soccer, but Megan should WIN before speaking, finish the job!"
"Leagues and teams like to come to the White House," he added. "Megan should never disrespect our country, the White House or our flag, especially since a lot has been done for her and her team, and be proud of the flag you are wearing. well!"
Rapinoe, who plays her football club for Seattle Reign FC in the National Women's Football League, is currently competing at her third World Cup, where the reigning US champion has qualified for quarterbacks. final, thanks in particular to two penalties converted by Rapinoe against Spain in the last 16.
Rapinoe, one of the biggest stars of women's football, has nevertheless made headlines off the field in recent years, where she has earned a reputation as a social activist. In September 2016, she became one of the first white athletes to "kneel" in the US national anthem, in support of the protest of American footballer Colin Kaepernick against police violence and violence. racism.
She was then abandoned for six months, returning to the national team only when the US Soccer Federation (USSF) put in place regulations requiring players to stand at any time during the anthem. Since then, Rapinoe still refuses to sing the national anthem and places his hands behind his back rather than on his heart.
– More: Women's World Cup: Germany must be wary of Sweden in the quarterfinals
Megan Rapinoe, bottom center, is one of the biggest names in American football.
"I thought it was the right thing to do, at the right time," she told a British online store. I ahead of the tournament. "At the end of the day, the good thing was getting people to talk about it, understanding that if some Americans look at the flag and know that it protects all of it, some Americans do not feel that way, and we We must stick to that, and I hope it is part of our evolution as a country. "
Earlier this year, Rapinoe and 27 of his teammates filed lawsuits against the USSF over equal pay, accusing the federation of discrimination based on sex.
In September 2017, she and her American team-mate Alex Morgan became the first players to sign up for Common Goal, a campaign launched by Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata, which encourages players to give 1% of their salary to a charity.
The United States will face France, their host country, in Paris Friday for a place in the semifinals.
mf / dr (dpa, AFP)
. (tagsToTranslate) Megan Rapinoe (t) American Football (t) women's football (t) Women's World Cup (t) Donald Trump (t) USA