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Trump invites USWNT to White House after Megan Rapinoe says she won’t go

Sweden v USA: Group F - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France
Megan Rapinoe stands silently with her hands to her side as the national anthem plays prior to U.S.-Sweden match Thursday in Le Havre, France.
(Martin Rose / Getty Images)

President Trump extended a White House invitation to the U.S. women’s national soccer team Wednesday morning, two days before it plays France in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals.

While this may be great news for Washington, D.C.-area fast food joints, star player Megan Rapinoe certainly won’t share their enthusiasm. And she definitely won’t be present for any such visit, if it even happens (fellow U.S. star Alex Morgan has said that the team would not accept an invitation to the White House from Trump).

Trump’s invitation came during a Twitter rant inspired by a clip of Rapinoe that was tweeted Tuesday by Eight by Eight magazine (Warning: The clip contains profanity). In it, Rapinoe states she will not visit the (bleeping) White House if the U.S. wins the Women’s World Cup and that she didn’t think the team would be invited anyway.

Trump tweeted the next morning: “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 invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose.”

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Rapinoe, who in the past has taken a knee during the national anthem, has been criticized during the Women’s World Cup for not singing along or holding her hand over her heart as “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays before games.

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“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” she told Yahoo Sports in an interview published last month. “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”

Asked by the Hill on Monday if he thought Rapinoe’s behavior during the national anthem was appropriate, Trump responded: “No. I don’t think so.”

Eight by Eight tweeted the clip of Rapinoe the next day.

“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Be proud of the Flag that you wear.”

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii


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