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With U.S. Women’s Soccer star and outspoken Trump critic Megan Rapinoe having preemptively rejected any invite to go to the “f***ing White House,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a big announcement on Monday: Congress is formally inviting the Wold Cup-winning team to be honored on Capitol Hill.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote to colleagues Monday that ‘by popular demand on both sides of the aisle,’ she has invited the players to the Capitol ‘to celebrate their inspiring victory,'” CBS News reported Monday. “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he, too, has invited them as he lauded them on the Senate floor for their ‘sustained level of excellence.'”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also made clear Republicans would like to celebrate the team, praising them for their “grit and teamwork and talent,” CBS notes.
While the general invite has been issued, no specific dates have been discussed, and star Alex Morgan told reporters in New York Monday that “it would be great to do something as a team together like that, but we haven’t even had time to talk about that.”
Some of the team’s biggest stars, particularly Rapinoe, have made a point of presenting themselves as part of the Trump “resistance.” After initially kneeling in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the country, Rapinoe — who describes herself as a “walking protest” because of her identity as a gay woman — has continued to protest during the playing of the national anthem by refusing to put her hand over her heart as an “F you” to President Trump and his administration.
“I’m not going to the f*****g White House,” Rapinoe told soccer magazine Eight By Eight in June. “No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not gonna be invited. I doubt it.”
— Eight by Eight (@8by8mag) June 25, 2019
“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,” Trump tweeted in response. “We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose.”
As he has done repeatedly with anthem protesters, Trump criticized Rapinoe for refusing to honor the flag, saying: “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!”
Morgan and fellow teammate Ali Krieger have also announced preemptively that they would reject an offer by Trump to visit the White House in celebration of the team’s accomplishments.
“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,” Krieger tweeted in response to Trump’s rebuke.
Rapinoe underscored to reporters last Thursday that she doesn’t regret her comments, except for one particular word. “I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive,” she said. “My mom will be very upset about that.”
Despite all the hostile rhetoric directed at him and his administration, Trump celebrated the team after their championship victory on Sunday, tweeting: “Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!”
Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2019