USWNT captain Megan Rapinoe has derided suggestions that she and her teammates will visit the White House if they win the World Cup this summer.
A number of championship-winning teams in US sports have declined invitations to be greeted by President Trump since his inauguration in 2017 – including the 2017 and 2018 NBA champion Golden State Warriors team, with some individual players from Super Bowl winning teams turning down invitations in the past couple of years.
Asked by Eight by Eight magazine, if she was excited about the possibility of going to the White House, the US captain responded: "Psshhht. I'm not going to the f*cking White House. I'm not going to the White House. We're not going to be invited."
Rapinoe has a long history of using her platform to campaign for racial and gender equality, as well as LGBT rights, joining a number of NFL players in following Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the American national anthem before matches.
“I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street," Rapinoe wrote for The Players' Tribune at the time. "But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache.
"There is no perfect way to protest. I know that nothing I do will take away the pain of those families. But I feel in my heart it is right to continue to kneel during the national anthem, and I will do whatever I can to be part of the solution.”
i would do anything for megan rapinoe— Haley O'Shaughnessy (@HaleyOSomething) June 26, 2019
The US Soccer Federation amended its rules after Rapinoe's protests to require all players to 'stand respectfully' for the anthem – with the skipper now refusing to sing the anthem or put her hand on her heart during the current World Cup.
The US will play France in Paris on Friday for the right to face either Norway or England in the semi-finals.