Megan Rapinoe Discusses White House Invite, Equal Pay, More with Rachel Maddow

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 10, 2019

Megan Rapinoe of USA women during the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 final match between United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 07, 2019 in Lyon, France(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

United States women's soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe went on The Rachel Maddow Show Tuesday and discussed numerous topics, including a potential White House invite, advancing the equal-play conversation to action and more following the USWNT's 2019 World Cup final victory over the Netherlands two days prior.

Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot as the World Cup's top goalscorer and the Golden Ball as its top player, told Maddow that the team had not received an official invite to the White House from President Donald Trump.

"Not publicly, and not to my knowledge and certainly not in the way that everybody else is invited to the White House or not invited to the White House," Rapinoe told Maddow when asked whether the team had been invited. "So to my knowledge we have not. I don't know if there's stuff going on behind the scenes, but obviously the first interaction that we had was very public and it's very silent now."

Rapinoe also told CNN's Anderson Cooper (h/t Scott Dworkin) that she would not go if invited and that any teammate she specifically spoke to about an invite would have the same stance.

Rapinoe has been outspoken about Trump: Per Henry Bushnell of Yahoo Sports, the captain called the president "sexist," "misogynistic," "small-minded," "racist" and "not a good person."

"I'm not going to the f--king White House," Rapinoe also told Eight by Eight magazine before the tournament. "No, I'm not going to the White House. We're not gonna be invited. I doubt it."

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Trump responded via Twitter, writing in part that "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." He also noted that the team would receive an invite, win or lose.

The team went a perfect 7-0 en route to winning, which also brought up the topic of equal pay for the national women's and men's teams.

"If you're not down with equal pay at this're so far out of reality and the conversation that we can't even go there," Rapinoe told Maddow. "I think it's time to go to the next phase."

The outpouring of support for equal pay has been loud in recent days, with Sen. Joe Manchin even introducing a bill to Congress (h/t Jennifer Bendery of HuffPost) that would block federal funding for the 2026 men's World Cup (hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico). Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former vice president Joe Biden and others have also supported equal pay.

As far as Rapinoe's playing career, the 34-year-old admitted that she is "definitely at the later stage as opposed to the beginning stage," although she has "no plans to retire." She told Cooper that she plans on playing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Rapinoe scored five of her six World Cup goals in the knockout rounds, including two each against Spain and France and the game-winner versus the Netherlands in the final.

The forward plays for the NWSL side Reign FC (Tacoma, Washington), which currently leads the nine-team league with a 5-1-5 record. She'll make her return to Cheney Stadium on July 28 against the Chicago Red Stars. Rapinoe and seven other Reign FC teammates who represented their countries in the World Cup will be honored.