US footballer Megan Rapinoe: Zero buck on Trump - Sport
- Megan Rapinoe is already one of the figures of the World Cup.
- She whirls on the left wing, also politically - and gets on with Donald Trump.
- She says she did not realize until later how powerful her own voice is.
Megan Rapinoe was straightening her shoes when she provoked the President of the United States. She wore her jersey, with the crest of the federation and three stars on the left, one for each World Cup won. The US football magazine Eight By Eight photographed the co-captain and other players of the national team for a new edition, which was just before the start of the World Cup in France, and it was filmed. The camera is close to Rapinoe, in the background you can hear the click of a camera.
And then she is asked this question: "Are you looking forward to going to the White House?" A Steep Master, Rapinoe transforms, "Oh, I'm not going to the fucking White House," she says - I'm not going to go into the, well, damn White House - and with raised eyebrows she adds, "We will I do not think so, I doubt it. "
The magazine posted the video on the internet this week. Freely available, also for Donald Trump. And it was not long before the 45th renter of the historic building in Washington DC answered Twitter. For Trump this is not a new topic: Even some athletes and teams have turned down the traditional invitation of the president after great success, since Trump is called. "I'm a big fan of the American team and women's football, but Megan should win first before she talks! Finish the job," wrote Trump, who still invited the national team, no matter how she performs at the World Cup. "Megan should never disregard our country, the White House, or our flag, especially because so much was done for her and the team."
Rapinoe is silent when the teammates sing
Rapinoe, 33, is not influenced by such requests, especially not by Donald Trump. The Californian does not shy away from public comment on social issues. Whether she speaks for the whole team was Rapinoe by Eight by Eight asked. Her answer: "I do not know who they vote for, but I hope none have voted for him." With his right-wing conservative policy Trump represents almost everything Rapinoe rejects. It whirls on the left wing, also politically. She stands by her convictions with all the consequences. Thus, she has become an icon in US football, in sports in general - because athletes with such a clear political stance are still exceptions. Especially those like Rapinoe.
She uses the possibilities that are given to her now before each game. Sometimes you do not have to do much to make a difference. When at the World Cup the anthem sounds from the speakers and their teammates begin to sing the Star-Spangled Banner, Rapinoe is silent, arms behind his back. She wants to draw attention to injustices against minorities - and sing along again when the criminal law in the United States reformed and the rights of lesbians and gays are strengthened. "I'll probably never put my hand over my heart," she says, "I'll probably never sing the national anthem again."
France - USA Fri 21.00, TV: ZDF / in Paris, Prinzenpark
Not even on Friday night (9 pm) when Rapinoe plays with USA against France for the semi-finals. It is the anticipated highlight of this World Cup, the big favorite USA meets in Paris on the hosts. The stadium Prinzenpark is sold out, the ratings are high, the game contested. Both teams stand for great presence on the field, for healthy self-confidence and high quality with experienced players. France could win a World Cup for the first time, becoming the first nation among men and to be the reigning world champion for the women. The US wants to defend its 2015 title.
The US players would thus underline their claims that they were brought to justice in March, with a class action lawsuit. First, there were five players, led by Rapinoe and Alex Morgan (who also wants to boycott an invitation to the White House), then joined the whole national team and sued on World Women's Day, the US Football Association - because of discrimination: the women get only 38 percent of Men's pay in US football, and it's also about infrastructural conditions and equal treatment. The players see themselves as pioneers who want to push borders, in the USA, but also worldwide. As three-time World Champions and four-time Olympic champions, who are much more successful than the football men of their country, they lead the fight for change out of a strong position.
But how can Rapinoe on the field represent a country led by a government that disgusts her? How can she play for an association that she disregards her rights to?