After a week of contentious comments by members of the U.S. Women’s National Team and President Donald Trump, the president Sunday tweeted a simple message of congratulations for its 2-0 victory over The Netherlands, without any rancor or reference to their prior exchanges.
“Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team,” someone tweeted using the president’s personal Twitter account, “on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!”
The official presidential account, @potus, retweeted the message. It was free of spelling and grammatical mistakes, no ellipses, and all the words were typed in sentence case, none in all caps, as the president typically does. Derive from that what you will about who actually wrote the tweet.
Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2019
As Outsports reported on June 27, Megan Rapinoe, the out lesbian co-captain of the U.S Women’s soccer team, angered Trump by saying in an interview with 8by8mag.com, “I’m not going to the fucking White House” if her team wins the Women’s World Cup.
She continued, “No fuckin’ way will we be invited to the White House. [Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline. Or, like he did when the Warriors turned him down, he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place.”
When asked if her teammates felt similarly, she said, “I don’t know everyone’s voting patterns on our team, but I would hope no one voted for him.”
Trump responded to Rapinoe via Twitter, seemingly inviting her team to the White House just to prove her wrong. He also used the opportunity to also tout himself while knocking her ongoing refusal to sing the national anthem on the field:
Women’s soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is “not going to the F...ing White House if we win.” Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level...
....in our Country’s history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House. I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet....
....invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting 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. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!
In his initial tweets, Trump accidentally tagged the wrong Megan Rapinoe. He later deleted the tweet and tagged the correct one.
Since then, Rapinoe has doubled-down on her stance and been joined by teammates in observing they would either skip a White House invitation, or decide as a team whether they go. Coach Jill Ellis told a foreign journalist who suggested the invitation was a done deal: “Well I wouldn’t bet on that.”
On Sunday, USA Today reported the president was noncommittal when asked if he still intended to host the team. “We haven’t really thought about it,” Trump told reporters. “We’ll look at that.”
Some reporters questioned why it took two hours for his tweet of congratulations, while First Lady Melania Trump’s account tweeted a congratulatory message just as the match ended. as ForTheWin noted.
Former President Barack Obama also wasted no time sending a message to the USWNT:
Yes! Fourth star. Back to back. Congrats to the record breakers on the @USWNT, an incredible team that’s always pushing themselves—and the rest of us—to be even better. Love this team. #OneNationOneTeam— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 7, 2019
Following the president’s tweet, several Trump supporters with time on their hands did some PhotoShopping to add some unlikely pro-Trump banners to Rapinoe’s celebratory pose on the pitch.
Fox News noted that when the president was asked by reporters later in the day whether men and women soccer teams should earn the same salary — which members of the women’s team have demanded in a lawsuit — Trump responded, “I would like to see that, but you’ve also got to look at numbers... you have to look at who’s taking in what” and “see how they’re performing.”
”I don’t know what those numbers are,” Trump said.
Following the USWNT victory, many in the Lyon arena chanted, “Equal Pay.”
And at least one clever Twitter user showed their support for equal pay for U.S. women with another Photoshopped image: