Megan Rapinoe wants to meet AOC and Nancy Pelosi as 'they believe in the same things we do', rules out White House visit
The Women World Cup's top scorer accused the president of "excluding" gay people like her and said that the winning US team does not want to be "co-opted or corrupted" by President Trump's administration.
US Women's National Soccer Team star Megan Rapinoe on Wednesday said that she will meet top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, even as she repeated that she will not visit the Trump White House.
The women FIFA World Cup's top scorer accused the president of "excluding" gay people like her and said that the winning US team does not want to be "co-opted or corrupted" by President Trump's administration.
Rapinoe, while talking to CNN's Anderson Cooper, said: "There are so many other people that I would rather talk to and have meaningful conversations that can really affect change in Washington than going to the White House."
The midfielder, however, added that the team would be happy to talk to people who "believe in the same things we believe in" like AOC and Pelosi. The winning team was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City on Wednesday after Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio invited them to celebrate.
Rapinoe also repeated her refusal to go to the White House, saying: "I would not go, and every teammate that I've talked to explicitly about it would not go."
The star also slammed the president's Make America Great Again slogan and said: "Your message is excluding people. 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."
Trump, before the team's victory, had stated that he would invite them to the White House "win or lose," however, he has remained silent on an invitation ever since the women's victory at the World Cup.
"This is such a special moment for us, and to be able to sort of leverage this moment and talk about the things that we want to talk about and to celebrate like this with the leaders of our country is an incredible moment," Rapinoe said. "So yes to AOC, yes to Pelosi, yes to a bipartsan Congress, yes to Chuck Schumer." AOC had reportedly invited the women's soccer team to the House of Representatives even before they won the World Cup.
"Yes to anyone else that wants to invite us and have a real substantive conversation and that believe in the same things we believe in," she added. Rapinoe, on Tuesday, accepted Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer's invitation for the team to visit the Senate, saying she would be happy to meet him and discuss equal pay legislation.
Schumer, while addressing the Senate floor on Monday, had said: "And, while today we celebrate their victory, we also recognize that these women, these athletes, have challenges and they make us really think about the future of women's sports. They make us grapple with the deep unfairness in how female athletes are treated, and paid, compared to their male counterparts."
The Senate leader later tweeted his support for the soccer team, writing: "What the USWNT team did was extraordinary, and they deserve to be compensated fairly. All women need to be compensated fairly. Period. And we ought to pay attention to this not just once every four years during the World Cup, but year-in and year-out."
The women's soccer team has previously visited Barack Obama's White House after winning the World Cup in Canada in 2015.