American professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe just made a bold statement about LGBTI equality in sport.
Speaking after her team’s 2-1 win over France yesterday (28 June), the openly lesbian midfielder said gay people play an integral role in sport.
‘You can’t win a championship without gays on your team,’ she said, reports the Guardian. ‘It’s never been done before, ever. That’s science, right there!’
She then added: ‘I’m motivated by people who, like me, are fighting for the same things. I take more energy from that than from trying to prove anyone wrong. That’s draining on yourself.
‘But for me, to be gay and fabulous during Pride month at the World Cup is nice,’ she said.
She also proudly proclaimed ‘Go gays!’
The team’s manager Jill Ellis said Rapinoe’s outspokenness is not a distraction and she ‘handled herself incredibly well’.
Megan Rapinoe vs Donald Trump
The pro-gay remarks come about after Megan Rapinoe said she will refuse to go to the White House if her team wins the World Cup.
While speaking to Eight by Eight magazine, she stated incredulously: ‘I’m not going to the fucking White House.’
In the print version of the interview, Rapinoe expanded her thoughts.
‘[Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline,’ she said. ‘Or, like he did when the [NBA’s Golden State] Warriors turned him down, he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place.’
In response to Rapinoe’s comments, Trump angrily tweeted.
‘I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!’
Then he took it upon himself to invite 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.’
In 2016, Rapinoe became the first prominent white and female athlete to kneel during the anthem at games. She did it in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who originally began kneeling as a protest of police brutality towards black people.