Donald Trump criticises US Women's star Megan Rapinoe over White House comments
26 June 2019, 16:21 | Updated: 26 June 2019, 17:09
US President Donald Trump has criticised US Women's co-captain Megan Rapinoe for declaring she would not go to the White House if her team win the Women's World Cup.
The United States, who are the No 1 ranked team in the world, are set to play tournament hosts France on Friday in the quarter-finals.
Rapinoe was asked earlier this week if she would attend the White House - an honour typically bestowed upon championship-winning teams in America - if the USA retain the trophy they won four years ago in Canada.
"I'm not going to the f****** White House," Rapinoe replied. "No. I'm not going to the White House. We're not going to be invited. I doubt it."
Rapinoe was one of a number of athletes who followed Colin Kaepernick's lead in 2016 by kneeling during the anthem in protest of social injustices and racial discrimination in the US.
After Rapinoe started kneeling, the United States Soccer Federation adopted a policy that requires players to stand during the anthem.
The 33-year-old now does stand, but refuses to sing or put her hand over her heart like other US players.
She has described herself as a "walking protest" against Trump's policies and has previously called him a "sexist" and "misogynistic".
Her actions and comments have irked Trump, who took to Twitter on Wednesday to criticise Rapinoe.
Trump also took a shot at the NBA, whose champions over the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors, have declined to visit the White House after winning the title.
Trump tweeted: "Women's soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is "not going to the F...ing White House if we win."
"Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level in our Country's history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House.
"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.
"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!"
Rapinoe has scored three times, including two in their last-16 victory over Spain, and has also added two assists in the United States' run to the last eight of the World Cup.