U.S. President Donald Trump has responded to Megan Rapinoe's comments that she would not go to the White House by inviting the entire U.S. Women's National Team for a visit.
Trump, writing on Twitter earlier today, has also urged the team to "finish the job" by winning the Women's World Cup in France.
USA play hosts France in a quarter-final on Friday night. Jill Ellis' side won all three of their group games - seeing off Thailand by a record thirteen-nil, Chile three-nil and Sweden two-nil. They then saw off a plucky Spain side 2-1 in Reims to progress to the last-eight stage.
Responding to a question recently, Rapinoe said "Psssh, I'm not going to the ******* White House," which ignited Trump into a response today on Twitter.
"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!"
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...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
Rapinoe, who has won both the World Cup and Olympics with the USWNT, regularly speaks out on social issues.
She was also the first white professional athlete to kneel for the national anthem in protest of social injustice in the United States, before US Soccer passed a rule requiring team members to stand for the anthem.
Rapinoe is co-captain on the team, and she has been one of the most prominent voices involved in the discussions around equal pay, among other issues.
Some sports teams have outright refused visits to the White House while Trump has been in office - including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors after their respective NBA Championship victories. The Philadelphia Eagles adopted the same stance after winning Super Bowl LII in 2018.
The USWNT did visit the White House after winning the World Cup in 2015, when Barack Obama was President.