Soccer

Sue Bird, partner of USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, responds to President Donald Trump

WNBA star Sue Bird penned a column for The Player’s Tribune about her partner, United States Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe and the USWNT’s semifinal with England at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Bird also went after President Donald Trump for last week’s events.

Here’s what happened last week: Rapinoe has protested the national anthem at the Women’s World Cup by not singing it. She previously took a knee during the anthem in 2016 in solidarity with former quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest movement, but then stood for the anthem following U.S. Soccer making a rule change that all players representing the national team must stand for the anthem.

President Trump was asked by the Hill if he approved of her actions. He said no and also said he “loves watching women’s soccer,” and “they’re really talented.”

A pre-World Cup interview with soccer magazine Eight by Eight then went viral when Rapinoe said she “wasn’t going to the [expletive] White House.”

That led to Trump responding with a series of tweets, where he said Rapinoe should win first before talking and that he was inviting her and the USWNT to the White House whether they win or lose the World Cup.

Rapinoe said she stood by her comments, minus the expletive, during a press conference before last Friday’s quarterfinal victory over tournament host France.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) followed up with an invitation to the team to tour the House of Representatives, which Rapinoe agreed to via Twitter.

So on Tuesday, Bird took to The Player’s Tribune to address what happened.

“It would take the President of the United States going on a hate-filled Twitter spree trolling my girlfriend while she was putting American soccer, women’s sports, equal pay, gay pride and TRUE LOVE on her back, all at once, scoring two majestic goals to lead Team USA to a thrilling victory over France and a place in the World Cup SEMIFINALS, for me to ever even think about writing again,” Bird wrote. “But I’m a woman of my word. So here I am.”

Bird also wrote that she had a pretty standard reaction of freaking out when “the literal President of the literal United States (of literal America) go Full Adolescent Boy on your girlfriend.”

She mentioned the Seattle Storm was no way going to the (expletive) White House after winning the WNBA title last season, according to The Player’s Tribune article.

“Like, dude — there’s nothing better demanding your attention?? It would be ridiculous to the point of laughter, if it wasn’t so gross. (And if his legislations and policies weren’t ruining the lives of so many innocent people.) And then what’s legitimately scary, I guess, is like….. how it’s not just his tweets,” Bird wrote on The Player’s Tribune. “Because now suddenly you’ve got all these MAGA peeps getting hostile in your mentions. And you’ve got all these crazy blogs writing terrible things about this person you care so much about. And now they’re doing takedowns of Megan on Fox News, and who knows whatever else. It’s like an out-of-body experience, really — that’s how I’d describe it. That’s how it was for me.”

To read the full column, click here.

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Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.
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