Real American Hero

Trump fans just can’t win with the USA’s World Cup champions

Fresh of her win at the Women’s World Cup and the newfound megastardom that followed, out-lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe has slammed Donald Trump for his administration’s treatment of queer people.

Rapinoe appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to discuss her big win at the World Cup, and to address the already brewing controversy over her taking a knee during the National Anthem. She had previously said she would kneel as a sign of solidarity with football player Colin Kaepernick, who knelt to protest the treatment of people of color by police.

Related: Trump fans adopted soccer star Kelley O’Hara as their hero. Then they watched this kiss.

Cooper offered Rapinoe a moment to address Trump directly. “Your message is excluding people,” she said. “You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me. You’re excluding people of color. You’re excluding Americans that maybe support you. I think that we need to have a reckoning with the message that you have and what you’re saying about Make America Great Again. I think that you’re harkening back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people and maybe America’s great for a few people right now but it’s not great for enough Americans in this world, and … you have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person and you need to do better for everyone.”

She also defended her choice to protest during the National Anthem. “I think that taking care of others, standing up for yourself and other people if they don’t have the ability to do so, is very uniquely American. I think everyone in America would say that and I think we have a rich history and a pride in saying that in those words and often times in doing that in the world. I don’t think anybody can deny the horrors of racism and Jim Crow and mass incarceration and what’s happening on the southern border and gay rights and women’s rights. A lot of the people that disagree with me would benefit greatly from a world that is better for everyone…Protest is not comfortable, ever.”