"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."— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 10, 2019
US Women’s National Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe's message to Pres. Trump. pic.twitter.com/4PbKx0hSxv
Megan Rapinoe has more to say to President Donald Trump. After the superstar forward of the US Women's National Football Team said she is "not going to the f*cking White House," she sat down with CNN's Anderson Cooper to elaborate on that statement. It's a longstanding tradition in American sports and government that, when a team wins a national or world championship, they are invited to the White House to celebrate with the President. But under our current administration, the winning teams and individual players accepting invitations have been fewer and fewer. In January, instead of visiting the White House, the Golden State Warriors met with Barack Obama to celebrate their 2018 NBA title. The story with this talented football team is unique — although Trump did congratulate the team on Twitter, he has yet to extend an invitation following their World Cup win — despite his promise to do so — as Rapinoe confirmed to Rachel Maddow.
"I would not go and every teammate that I've talked to explicitly about it would not go," Rapinoe told Cooper during an interview Tuesday night. "I don't think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform we've worked so hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our lives. I don't think we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration."
Despite not receiving nor accepting an invitation from President Trump, Rapinoe and the team will celebrate their huge win with other officials in Washington DC. They plan on celebrating their "special moment" with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer, and "anyone else that wants to invite us, and have a real substantive conversation, and that believe in the same things that we believe in," she said.
"Your message is excluding people."
When Cooper asked Rapinoe if she had anything to say to the President if he were watching, she did not mince words. "Your message is excluding people. You're excluding me. You're excluding people that look like me. You're excluding people of colour. You're excluding Americans that maybe support you," she said. "We need to have a reckoning with the message that you have about 'Make America Great Again.' You are harking back to an era that wasn't great for everyone. It might've been great for a few people. Maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it's not great for enough Americans in this world."
Rapinoe also challenged Trump to unite Americans. "You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person, and you need to do better for everyone." Rapinoe is not only an inspiration on the field, but she's established herself as an icon who stands up for what she believes in.