Now just two games away from winning another Women’s World Cup, the United States is not discussing any of the criticism aimed at standout forward Megan Rapinoe, she told ESPN after Friday’s 2-1 quarterfinal win over hosts France.
Rapinoe scored both of the Americans’ goals, two days after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted about her “disrespect” for the country following the release of a months-old video of Rapinoe saying, “”I’m not going to the f—ing White House.”
But while her comments and the president’s response might be driving headlines, Rapinoe said she and her teammates are talking about practically anything else they can.
“I haven’t been thinking about it too much. Obviously, I’m thinking about it a little bit — we’re having to talk about it, whatever — but I’ve never been one to get in my [Twitter] mentions, so I’m not getting in them now,” she told ESPN. “Stay out of it; just keep within the team environment and the bubble.
“I have so much support around me, from the media team helping me to just the group and my family and friends and everybody. So we just keep it chill; we just basically — kinda just shoot the s— every day, and we’re just trying to find stuff to talk about — and that’s not what we’re talking about.”
On the field, Rapinoe has now scored five goals in four appearances in France to set up a semifinal clash against England, and after the president tweeted to “WIN first before she Talks!” in reference to Rapinoe, she acknowledged the U.S. still has a long road ahead.
“Obviously we’re very excited about this, and we can be excited about it for a minute; and then you gotta put it away,” she said. “We haven’t done anything that we want to do yet. We have a tremendous team ahead of us in England, who had a very dominating performance in their last game. So we’ll just rest, chill, have a good trip down on the train to Lyon tomorrow, and start to focus in on England.”
Despite the high stakes, Rapinoe is still managing to have a little fun. Asked in the mixed zone after the game if her performance against France meant more coming the night before the Paris Pride march, Rapinoe, who is openly gay, replied: “Go gays. You can’t win a championship without gays on your team, it’s pretty much never been done before ever. Science, right there. …
“To be gay and fabulous during pride month at the World Cup is nice.”