Pink haired and flamboyant U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe is in all the headlines lately for telling a reporter there’s no way she’s going to the “f***ing” White House if the U.S. wins this summer’s World Cup. As a gay athlete, Rapinoe says that President Trump's administration is very backwards on LGBT rights. Trump responded with a Twitter thread telling Rapinoe he was not impressed by her behavior and reminded her that she needs to win first before he even considers extending the team an invitation. He also recently told the press that her national anthem protests are inappropriate.
Rapinoe’s teammates, like defender Ali Krieger, had her back. She tweeted this direct message for Trump on Wednesday.
In regards to the “President’s” tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.— Ali Krieger (@alikrieger) June 26, 2019
That brings us to Thursday's press conference ahead of the U.S.'s quarterfinal matchup against host nation France. Rapinoe fielded questions about her feud with the White House, but interestingly, seemed unwilling to answer any inquiries related to her anthem protests.
Fox Soccer reporter Grant Wahl asked Rapinoe what I thought was a rather fair question, “what are you protesting?”
Rapinoe, after hemming and hawing and wearing a confused look, said, “I need a more specific question.” Wahl offered her one, but Rapinoe then just asked the press to keep today's questions “on the game."
U.S. Soccer coach Jill Ellis chimed in and defended her players from media criticism.
"The personality of our players," she said, is "the make up" of the team.
"We all support Megan," she added. "We have each other’s backs."
When it comes to their matches, Ellis assured reporters, "this team has remarkable focus."
"We’re just genuinely excited to be here," she said.