Megan Rapinoe hailed her United States team-mates as an example for the country to follow but told a huge crowd celebrating their Women’s World Cup triumph that she will not be running for president, saying: “I’m busy.”
During the victory parade through New York, the 34-year-old forward stoked the fire of her spat with president Donald Trump, which began during the tournament when she said that she and her colleagues would not be going to the White House if they lifted the trophy.
Having helped defend the title on French soil, Rapinoe reiterated her stance when it comes to visiting the president – a job she cheekily rejected was in her future plans.
“I couldn’t be more proud to be a co-captain of this team with Carli [Lloyd] and Alex [Morgan],” she said. “It’s an absolute honour to lead this team out on the field.
“There’s no other place I would rather be. Even in a presidential race. I’m busy, I’m sorry.”
Told ya. pic.twitter.com/tWbbpyUhZY
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 7, 2019
Trump had previously addressed Rapinoe’s comments on Twitter, calling on the player to “WIN first before she TALKS!” in a post.
Having risen to the challenge, Rapinoe resisted the temptation to fire back at Trump but offered no apology. She did, however, call for everyone to come together and make the world a “better place”.
“There has been so much contention in these last years. I’ve been a victim of that, I’ve been a perpetrator of that,” she said.
“We had a fight with the federation – I’m sorry for some of the things I said. Not all of the things.
“We have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We have to listen more, talk less. We have to know that it is everyone’s responsibility. It’s our responsibility to make this world a better place.
“I think this team does an incredible job of taking that on our shoulders and understanding the position we have and the platform we have in this world. It’s time to come together. We have to collaborate. My charge to everybody – do what you can.
“If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that, please take this as an example. This group is incredible. Yes we play sports, yes we play soccer, yes we’re female athletes, but we’re so much more than that.”
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