US football star Megan Rapinoe has used her return to the national team after a lengthy break caused by the pandemic to lash out at outgoing president Donald Trump, claiming that he was responsible for the violence at the Capitol.
Rapinoe, who hasn’t played since March, again took aim at Trump as she returned to the US national squad ahead of friendly games against Colombia later this month.
The 2019 Ballon d'Or winner answered questions about her political stance and affiliations on a Zoom call with journalists direct from the training camp in Florida, accusing the president of "incitement of insurrection" after he'd given an emotional speech before his supporters stormed the Capitol.
“It’s just striking how horrible it was and how insane it was,” she said.
Megan Rapinoe on the incidents on Jan. 6th: "It's striking how horrible they were and how insane they were. To see where we've come in these four years [under Trump's reign] have been devastating." #USWNT— Larry Henry Jr (@lhenry019) January 12, 2021
Thank god, I’ve been checking my phone constantly waiting for the great Megan Rapinoe to tell me how I should feel pic.twitter.com/jkARvXfbvf— Captain Curtis (@CaptainCurts) January 13, 2021
thank goodness! glad rapinoe got involved— ... (@RemyAlt) January 13, 2021
“A white supremacist mob is nothing new to America, as people of color, black and brown, know very well.
"All the calls for unity moving forward obviously cannot come without justice. If we don’t punish this and investigate this to the fullest extent, it only encourages more of this to happen.”
“This is about white supremacy. It’s all out in the open and all stripped bare. Obviously, this is a huge stain on the country."
Rapinoe has a long history of clashing with Trump - most famously during the 2019 FIFA World Cup, when the US head of state told her to "win first before she talks” in response to her promise not to accept an invitation to visit the White House.
just thinking back to this iconic quote from megan rapinoe in 2019 https://t.co/6QkpYN6sau— Sarah Lerner (@SarahLerner) January 12, 2021
News for Rapinoe & others everything in our country is not white supremacy. Her comments do not align with Biden message for unity & unity means uniting not dividing.— Edith Keenan (@KeenanEdith) January 13, 2021
The spat escalated after the team’s record-breaking victory at the tournament, with the forward criticizing Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign, saying that he “needs to do better for everyone.”
In 2016, Rapinoe followed Colin Kaepernick’s trend and took a knee during the playing of national anthem, with her actions resulting in a ban imposed by US Soccer.
The organization later revised its policy, allowing players to peacefully protest during pre-match ceremonies.
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