In an interview with Meet The Press, Rapinoe addressed a controversy-filled week without apology for her criticisms of Donald Trump. She also asserted that her elevated celebrity gives her the platform to bring attention to much-neglected issues, like Trump policies on racial equality, equal pay and LGBTQ rights.
When host Chuck Todd pressed her on what she would say to a Trump-supporting fan, Rapinoe didn’t mince words:
I think that I would, you know, try to share our message. Do you, you know, believe that all people are created equal? Do you believe that equal pay should be mandated? Do you believe that everyone should have healthcare? Do you believe that we should treat everyone with respect? I think those are the basics of what we’re talking about. And I understand people feel upset or uncomfortable. There’s I think some feelings of disrespect about the anthem protest or things that I’ve said in the past, but ultimately I think I am here open and honest. I’ve admitted mistakes. I will continue to do that. I will continue to be vulnerable and be honest and be open and want to have that conversation because I think Trump’s message excludes people that look like me and that are me, of course, but it excludes a lot of people in his base as well. And I think that he’s trying to divide so he can conquer, not unite so we can all conquer.
Rapinoe also added that Trump would have to reverse “about 50 policies” before she would consider visiting the White House. Rapinoe’s remarks follow a weeks-long back and forth with Trump himself for declining an invitation to the White House before winning the Women’s World Cup. She then doubled down on her stance after winning, as did several other members of the women’s team. Rapinoe is an out-and-proud gay woman and has landed her harshest criticism for Trump over his policies regarding queer issues, such as his proposed ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces.