The President of the United States publicly declared that a soccer player had to win the World Cup before they could talk. The player’s team won, and now the player is talking, about the president, not visiting the White House and more.
That player is Megan Rapinoe, and her girlfriend, WNBA star Sue Bird, is pretty impressed with how she has handled becoming one of the most notable athletes in the country.
Sue Bird: Megan Rapinoe and USWNT’s win was ‘ultimate silencer’ for Trump
In the middle of the USWNT’s dominant World Cup run, Rapinoe had a months-old interview resurface in which she profanely shot down any chance of the team visiting the White House if they won the tournament.
That comment predictably set off a string of tweets from President Donald Trump, who, after having to delete his initial tweet because he accidentally tagged the wrong person, said that “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS!”
The USWNT won the tournament, Rapinoe won the Golden Ball for tournament MVP, and Bird told USA Today that the win was “the ultimate silencer” for Trump.
“Megan let her play speak for itself,” Bird told USA TODAY Sports. “President Trump likes to play games on Twitter to (cater) to his followers. For him to go at Megan and twist it and flip it, then saying they better win, it’s something everyone should be able to see through. Obviously, she went out there and balled out."
Trump ended up sending out a solitary, polite tweet congratulating the team after securing its World Cup win. He has not mentioned Rapinoe in a tweet since his initial tweet storm.
While Trump has remained mostly silent, Rapinoe has not. The USWNT co-captain has captured an enormous amount of attention, and criticism from Trump supporters, since the win.
Bird blasted any criticism of Rapinoe’s statements against Trump, questioning whether Rapinoe is even making a political statement by lambasting Trump. Just last week, Rapinoe was among a chorus of voices criticizing Trump’s racist attack on four progressive congresswomen of color.
“It makes no sense to say, ‘Focus on your sport.’ Listen, athletes are people,” Bird said. “And especially when the president is quick to make comments publicly, at some point, everyone has the right to respond.
“Politics and sports are intertwined. And are we really talking about politics or are we talking about being a good human? And not being a racist? I’ve never heard Megan talk about tax reform. We’re talking about treating people equally. I can’t even get to politics because of the lack of humanity that (Trump) has shown.”
It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that Bird’s Seattle Storm also turned down a White House visit after winning last season’s WNBA championship.
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