Update: President Trump offered a few more thoughts on Twitter after Rapinoe said she's "not f-ing going to the White House," even if he asked.
Women’s soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is “not going to the F...ing White House if we win.” Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
....in our Country’s history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House. 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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
....invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
Megan Rapinoe may currently be a U.S. hero for her two clutch penalty kicks against Spain on Monday in the FIFA World Cup, but her resistance to the national anthem is still losing her some fans, including, it seems, the president. In 2016, Rapinoe became the first U.S. women's national soccer team player to kneel during the national anthem, in solidarity with football player Colin Kaepernick and, she explained, to bring awareness to gay rights.
"We need to look at all the things the flag and the anthem represent and all the things it means, and is it protecting everybody?" Rapinoe asked at the time. "There are people who don't feel as protected as I do every day. I know it's a time-honored tradition. Especially in a sports environment, it's something the country is very passionate about, but there is a bigger conversation here that is more important than sports."
We USA sports fans were wondering if she'd continue to kneel while representing the red, white, and blue on the world stage. In fact, she has been standing in this summer's World Cup during the "Star Spangled Banner." But, as one or two viewers have noticed, she has not been holding her hand over her heart or moving her lips.
Asked in the Oval Office on Monday if her action is appropriate, President Trump said, "No, I don't think so."
Still, protests aside, the president said he has been enjoying the World Cup.
"I love watching women's soccer," he said. "They’re really talented."
U.S. women's national Coach Jill Ellis, whose coaching skills are currently in question after Monday's close call, first addressed the controversy by noting she appreciates Rapinoe's activism, but she gets concerned by anything that may be a distraction or "supersede" the team as a whole.
As for Trump's opinion of Rapinoe's on-field behavior, the feeling appears mutual. When asked if she'd accept an invite from President Trump if they win the World Cup, the soccer star responded, "I'm not going to the f***ing White House."
Rapinoe netted both U.S. penalty kicks on Monday and cemented the USA's spot in the quarterfinals. We take on the host nation France on Friday at 3 p.m.