Former U.S. Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe clapped back at former President Donald Trump’s scathing remarks after the team’s early exit from the Women’s World Cup.
Rapinoe said that Trump’s statement that about their “shocking and totally unexpected loss” to Sweden in the tournament’s 16th round, was hard to construe.
“Because what he’s saying is fake,” she told the Atlantic in an interview. “It’s a compilation of hit words and hot-button words that don’t actually make any sort of sense or square with reality at all.”
Trump blasted Rapinoe and the team, which won the World Cup back-to-back in 2015 and 2019, for being “openly hostile” to the country.
BREAKING: Megan Rapinoe’s penalty kick just landed pic.twitter.com/xXb9ZYk4s8
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) August 6, 2023
“The ‘shocking and totally unexpected’ loss by the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to Sweden is fully emblematic of what is happening to our once great Nation under Crooked Joe Biden,” Trump posted to Truth Social on August 6.
Rapinoe’s professional career ended with a missed penalty kick during a shoot out against Sweden that cost her team the tournament, which was the USWNT’s earliest exit in history.
She was captured chuckling sarcastically as she walked off of the pitch in Melbourne, Australia, while on the world stage for a final time.
"I think this team has always fought for so much more and that's been the most rewarding part for me… To know that we've used our really special talent to do something that's changed the world forever." 🇺🇸❤️@USWNT's @mPinoe speaks with @JennyTaft after the game ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/NUx9Oku4mf
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 6, 2023
“I mean, this is like a sick joke. For me personally, this is like dark comedy that I missed a penalty,” the soccer star said about the final moment of her career.
“This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game,” Rapinoe continued. “I think it can be cruel.”
Trump has had a long standing feud with Rapinoe, stemming from her remarks about refusing to visit the White House if her team won the World Cup in 2019.
That June, Trump tweeted that “Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team.”
#SOCCER US Soccer has overturned a ban on football players kneeling during the national anthem
The rule was introduced in 2016 after Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the anthem in protest against racial injustice pic.twitter.com/QHXcoCnZjC
— Mowliid Haji Abdi (@MowliidHaji) June 11, 2020
His comment touched on Rapinoe’s early adoption of kneeling during the National Anthem in 2016, when she became the most prominent female athlete to join former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality.
Trump’s latest attack on the team and their blue-haired leader was a response to their refusal to sing along with the “Star Spangled Banner” during the tournament.
“Many of our players were openly hostile to America – No other country behaved in such a manner, or even close,” he wrote. “WOKE EQUALS FAILURE. Nice shot Megan, the USA is going to Hell!!! MAGA.”
The USWNT was trashed online for standing stonily during the National Anthem, while other nation’s players sang their hearts out.
The USWNT players are blessed to live in a country that pays them very nicely to kick a ball around. It’s a shame the USWNT can’t appreciate America’s National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/LmoMCkH75y
— Charles R Downs (@TheCharlesDowns) July 23, 2023
“Weird watching AMERICAN players on the USWNT not joining in on the National Anthem… for the country who they play for,” someone tweeted
“USWNT has created the division they now experience. Should have kept politics out of sports!”
Rapinoe clapped back at critics for lashing out at the team whether they win or lose.
“I think, just in general, the way that our team was spoken about over the course of the tournament, it was fake,” she said in an interview.
That look when,
Not singing your National Anthem didn't catch on. pic.twitter.com/IVb1jqpOBE
— Buntz#23..👊👊👊 (@Bergermeister23) August 16, 2023
“And it didn’t make sense to me: In 2019, we were ultra-confident, ultra-swaggy — and won everything. And even though we won, we did it in bad taste, according to our critics.”
Rapinoe said that four years later the USWNT was criticized for the completely opposite reason.
“This time, we weren’t confident enough, and we don’t have the right ‘mentality.’ And so we lost,” she complained.
“It’s just so disingenuous. There’s no way for us to win, and there’s no way for us to lose.”