“And the spewing of hate and the ‘othering’ of the rest of the country has only led to more rife between people and more despair and more anxiety and more fear going forward,” the soccer star said.
“There’s been nothing to ease Donald Trump’s base,” she continued. “It’s not like he’s giving them a bunch of jobs. It’s not like he’s made life really better for them. He’s just given them this false reason why maybe they’re not happy with their lives. There’s been no sort of path forward.”
Mr. Giridharadas chimed in, saying, “He’s sort of used racism to steal from them, to summarize it.”
“Yeah, exactly,” Ms. Rapinoe replied.
Ms. Rapinoe has made headlines in the past for her activism, including kneeling during the national anthem and demanding equal pay for female soccer players, but she became a liberal folk hero last year after she told reporters that there was no way she was going to the “[expletive] White House” if the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Her remark caught the attention of Mr. Trump himself, who tweeted at the time, “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!”
The team did win but it is still unclear whether the White House ever invited the team for a visit.
When the team’s visit was still uncertain, several Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used the opportunity to personally invite the team for a visit to the Capitol. Ms. Rapinoe accepted.
Ms. Rapinoe spoke out against Mr. Trump after her team’s win, saying the president’s message “excludes people that look like me” and that he is “trying to divide so he can conquer, not unite so we can all conquer.”
“I’m not totally shutting the door, but it seems wild,” she said. “If I’m going to do it, I want the biggest, baddest post.”
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