BY Art Thiel 04:34PM 06/28/2019

Thiel: Reign’s Rapinoe leads world in badassery

In a win over home nation France, Reign FC star Megan Rapinoe scored both goals, as she did the previous game against Spain. She’s more than a match for Trump.

Reign FC star Megan Rapinoe has scored the past four goals for the USWNT. / goal.com

Any team taking on France in international sports is automatically down 0-1, because La Marseillaise is the best national anthem by a factor of five.

Any president taking on Megan Rapinoe is automatically down 0-1, because she is the best at what she does, and he is not.

Subject of a political spat earlier in the week initiated by President Trump, Reign FC star winger Rapinoe rose above the nonsense, the amped hometown crowd in Paris and a good French team.

She scored both goals in the USWNT’s 2-1 quarterfinal win Friday after scoring both goals in a previous win over Spain.

She now leads the FIFA Women’s World Cup in badassery.

Two more wins, starting with a semifinal match Tuesday against England in Lyon, and not only will the U.S. women be Cup champions for the fourth time, Rapinoe may become too big for the planet (at 33, she’s too young to run for the presidency).

Those who know Rapinoe would say none of this is surprising. It’s her third World Cup, and she has the swagger down. But now everyone who is suddenly now paying attention knows it too.

“Pinoe was on fire tonight,” teammate Alex Morgan told Fox Sports TV after the game. Rapinoe stunned the sellout crowd of 45,595 with a fifth-minute set-piece score, then created breathing room in the 65th minute with a run-of-play goal off a splendid feed from Morgan, the 49th international goal of Rapinoe’s career.

The resilient French tightened matters in the 80th minute with a free-kick header from Wendie Renard, at 6-1 the tournament’s tallest player. Then the anticipated drama, billed as the final before the final, was fully on, the pre-tourney dark-horse pick at home against the defending champs.

The U.S. defense held against withering pressure over the final tense 15 minutes (five minutes of stoppage) to preserve a fifth consecutive win in the tourney.

“This was so special, beating the host nation in the Parc des Princes,” Rapinoe said. “Can’t ask for anything more than this. You have to give it up for the French team — I think they out-played us with the ball. But we were so good defensively today. So strong. This is unreal.

“We talked about it before the tournament that we’re going to have those moments when everyone is going to have to play better than they ever have. (The defense) had their moments.”

Controversy boiled around Rapinoe during the week when a sixth-month-old video interview went viral because of her casually delivered response to the question of whether she would accept an invitation to a White House celebration, should the favored U.S. win the Cup.

“I’m not going to the f—— White House,” she said.

Apparently aware that Rapinoe, who complies with the soccer federation rule about standing for the anthem but refuses to sing or hold hand over heart, Trump found time among his various crises to tweet that she “should never disrespect our country, the White House or our flag . . . I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!’’

A steady critic of Trump, particularly his antipathy towards civil rights and the LGBTQ community, Rapinoe didn’t dodge her stance Wednesday at a previously scheduled news conference alongside U.S. coach Jill Ellis.

“I stand by the comments I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive. My mom will be very upset about that,” she said. “I don’t think that I would want to go, and I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform, or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn’t feel the same way and doesn’t fight for the same things that we fight for.”

Morgan and another teammate, Ali Krieger, publicly supported Rapinoe’s stand, but there will be no decision made until after tourney, although Trump invited the team “win or lose,” thereby debasing the honor.

Trump enjoys agitating the sports community because it expands the circle of attention he craves. Rapinoe is more than willing to engage the fight for social justice, proving it in 2016 when she became the first white U.S. athlete to support 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick by kneeling during the anthem.

With two more wins, USWNT and Rapinoe would have finished the job that Trump demanded. While I understand her position, I’d like to see her accept the invitation, in order to speak directly to the president.

He likes to double down. So does Rapinoe. Grab your popcorn.


SPONSORED POST

Support SportspressNW

The idea is simple: Want to help? Please, and thank you. Don’t want to help? Please and thank you for continuing to read. Our content is free to all. No paywalls. No tricks. See the ways you can support SportspressNW.

YourThoughts

  • Great win and a spectacular game. The US parked the bus after the early goal and after Rapinoe scored the second goal, they added bulldozers. Gritty, team win. I’m with you, I’d love to see Megan go the White House and get in Trumps face, but I doubt she’ll think he’s worth it. 💅🏻

    • art thiel

      Imagine if the entire team arrived and agreed merely to stare in silence at him.

      • 1coolguy

        Yeah, right, a bunch of petulant a—-. Great, really what sport is all about.
        And BTW, Trumps’ was a RESPONSE to her – she volunteered her disgusting comment all by her sad self. He always fights back and the Left apparently hasn’t figured that out yet.

        • Seattle Psycho

          The president is just one man not a bunch of people

        • art thiel

          How come he didn’t choose to take pride in her right to dissent, and be proud of the fact that Americans are allowed, for now, to do so?

        • Archangelo Spumoni

          1. “Trumps’ was a RESPONSE to her” see below
          2. “her disgusting comment all by her sad self” see below
          3. “always fights back and the Left apparently hasn’t figured that out yet.” see below

          1. Response vs initiation is a distinction without a difference and it is not possible for an adult NOT to know of the filthy, disgusting, juvenile, immature, immoral, cheating, prevaricating Trump nature and all of his language compared to a single outburst on this issue from featured Bad-ass. Go back to the Access Hollywood tape. A world record from a so-called adult endorsed by the pseudochristians..
          2. Not sad and not sure where that came from.
          3. He does not fight back. He calls people juvenile names and about 3/8 of the population thinks he is a cool guy President or something.
          In a decade or more we will be re-teaching youngsters about Presidential standing in the world, decorum, respect, trustworthiness, etc. None today and the young folks will learn that all Presidents are NOT as gross, filthy, juvenile, unhelpful, chicken, prevaricating, untrustworthy, cheating, and disrespected as this one.

          • 1coolguy

            Still suffering from TDS – Trump Derangement Syndrome – I see. Oh well, when he wins in 2020, then what will you and your ilk do? Will heads explode, or will you see that those who had to put up with The Empty Suit Obama for 8 years were the “adults in the room”, not happy with those elections but not ranting, as you and the Left are most prone to do?
            Here is a very informative, new interview with 3 gay men, including one Jew, one black, who offer their perspectives on why they have walked away from the Dem party. It is very enlightening.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATwSpkqI2gk

          • Archangelo Spumoni

            I watched a bunch of your video. Best of luck.

          • tor5

            One of the “thought leaders” interviewed on the site is Louie Gohmert.

          • Archangelo Spumoni

            Mr. Tor
            It was interesting to read the comments I responded to and there were 3 world record ones just here alone:

            1. “but I have never heard him utter a profanity.” ‘Nuff said.
            2. ” . . . Empty Suit Obama for 8 years were the ‘adults in the room’, not happy with those elections but not ranting,” Someone missed 8 years of fox news plus the teabagger folks with their 3-cornered hats plus the SOTU speech plus the world record filibusters–more than the previous total for the history of the USA. Literal and de facto rants.
            3. The site with Louie Gohmert: “It is very enlightening.” I believe this is the first time Louie and “enlightening” were together.

            So, the bottom line is we were dealing with a poster who is in that very small club and let’s just say is “unique.”.
            Trust me, it is not fun to explain stuff to an 8yo grandson from the access Hollywood tape, along with the (too-frequent) other examples..

  • Mark Peterson

    Rapinoe’s comments disgust me. I am not a fan. I’m on her mothers side. Wash her mouth out with soap.

    • art thiel

      You’re entitled. I’m sure you are equally disgusted with the Trump’s use of profanity in the nation’s highest office.

      • Mark Peterson

        Dear Art,
        Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the real conversation.

        So, let’s agree profanity is not good. It is common, however.

        I have no context for your linking utterance to utterance, especially in the partisan climate of today; therefore, it is hard for me to comment about DJT’s use of profanity.

        I would welcome a more in-depth conversation about the President at another time if you wish.

        Ms. Rapinoe, in my opinion, is answering an honor with dishonor. She dissed the “White House,” which is not Donald J. Trump; it is a symbol of the United States of America and the Presidency. It is an honor to be invited.

        Best regards,

        Mark Peterson

        • art thiel

          FYI, Trump, in front of a partisan crowd, carefully built a crescendo of invective against the Mueller investigation, concluding by dramatically describing it as “bullshit.” It’s one of numerous examples.

          I won’t go on, but I did want to respond to your point, since you were refreshingly civil.

          Regarding the diss, I wish it were otherwise, but two other title teams and several individuals have, out of conscience, skipped the event. Before Trump, several athletes skipped the Obama ceremonies. Including Marshawn Lynch.

          The gestures were never about the office, just as kneeling was never about the flag.

          Thanks, Mark.

          • Mark Peterson

            Dear Art,

            I am glad you responded to my point even if I think it is a weak response. Muller’s report is bullshit. I can give you aa dozen reasons if you wish. Also, its not really a profanity to call something like that bullshit. Lets have a deeper conversation around that, perhaps.
            You make my second point for me. The diss was not to Trump, per se, Megan clearly stated the “f…ing White House”. My point is valid. She dissed the symbol and I take offense. To decline is fine, many have done so, clearly out of principal. I can respect that. Her response was not respectful.

            Once again, thank you for your response. I would love to continue a quality conversation. I guess one could say she mis-spoke.

            Mark Peterson

          • Mark Peterson

            Art,

            I had one other comment since we drifted toward Trump in our conversation. You are a sports writer, I played sports, and the one thing you could depend on was the fairness in the application of the rules. Yes, sometimes there are bad calls, but overall we believe in the fairness of the game.

            It is not so regarding Trump. He was spied on by the government under the watch of the Obama administration. The FBI, DOJ, CIA. and others conspired to deny him (Trump) his civil rights, to undermine the election of 2016, and obstruct and resist and if possible bring down this presidency. This is cheating. I don’t like cheaters and the game will not survive if we don’t restore the rule of law. We can do this in a civil fashion. What we are disputing is the truth.

            Once again, thank you for engaging with me.

            Mark

          • art thiel

            I would agree that fairness in a high principle of fairness. I would also say that fairness includes respect for rules, laws and customs. Trump has demonstrated none.

            But here we are, Mark, celebrating dissent. What a thing.

          • Mark Peterson

            Art,

            I am off my soap box after one more thought.

            Presidents come and go, but if we lose our respect for the laws and processes of our system of governance we have lost the Republic. All this under our watch, no less. m

        • Mark Peterson

          Dear Art,

          Trump has shown no respect for rules, laws, and customs?

          Please educate me and influence my opinions with facts. From what I see, Trump is far more open and transparent than any President in my memory.

          Leaving Trump aside for a moment, what do we say about actual crimes and corruption in the Democrat party, the DNC, Hillary Clinton, the DOJ, The JUSTICE Dept.? What about Loretta Lynch meeting ex-president Clinton privately, on the tarmac, one week before Hillary was to be interviewed. I can go on and on.

          Where is our disconnect? It isn’t just us in this conversation. I see the same phenomena in my many liberal friends. They don’t seem to see these events as fundamental, existential, challenges to our Republic.

          I see emotion battling facts. I prefer facts.

          I think it is mostly style over substance that allows my liberal friends to have such different views. It is frustrating to see intelligent, educated people that can’t seem to observe and think for themselves. Their lazy minds parrot the words they just heard over and over on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and their talking points of the day.

          I get it; not everyone likes Trump, his hair his tie, the way he speaks, everything about him. I have noticed that the media rarely say anything positive, even when they could do so. What do you say when the formerly venerable TIME Magazine shows the photo of the kid in a cage and Trump scowling down. It was all fake. It is not fair.

          I am happy at this point to let Bill Barr and his team do their investigation into the facts surrounding this case. I can only hope that he is honest and fair and committed to getting to the bottom of this attempt to bring down the duly elected President of the United States of America. I pray for the rule of law and justice to to be served.

          If you don’t like the laws, change them. Congress is not doing their job, Democrat or Republican.

          If you don’t like the President vote him out at your first opportunity. What it looks like to me is that HRC was a lousy candidate and that she lost the election. It is one thing to lose. It is not cool to be a bad loser.

          In this country, we investigate predicate crime, not people we don’t like, looking for a crime. That is what they did in the Soviet Union under Stalin.

          “Show me the man; I’ll show you the crime” – Beria 1941

          Again, many thanks for your thoughtful conversation.

          Best regards,

          Mark Peterson

      • 1coolguy

        Trump disses opponents, but I have never heard him utter a profanity. I can certainly be mistaken, but I am not aware of any profanity.
        Interestingly, the founder of the #walkway movement is a gay man from NYC – he and 2 other gay men, one a Jew and one black – are interviewed in this new Youtube – it is worth watching, as their insights are quite revealing. Maybe Rapinoe would even learn something.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATwSpkqI2gk

  • 1coolguy

    “I’m not going to the f—— White House,” she said.
    She is a great player BUT a very poor excuse for a person – I won’t put into words what I really think about her.

    • art thiel

      You just did. Please keep in mind that political dissent is among the rights that many Americans have died to preserve. You and I celebrate that in this little dialogue.

  • Matt Kite

    She made both goals look easy. Some players seem meant for the big stage. As for her comments regarding Herr Drumpf, she can say whatever she wants. This is America.

    • art thiel

      Her career arc seems made for this moment.

    • rosetta_stoned

      Yeah. Being captain of the USNWT – while representing all of America overseas – is a perfect time to throw a temper tantrum.

      • tor5

        Actually, according to the current White House occupant, the “perfect time” to attack your political opponents is when you are representing America overseas as president meeting face-to-face with other world leaders.

      • art thiel

        Dissent is not a temper tantrum but an American right.

  • Joe_Fan

    Rapinoe is absolutely CLUTCH! This is her third world cup and her skill and experience really shines through. She has had a number of big moments on the world stage over her career. We are so lucky to have her on our team and to witness her great play.

    In terms of the politics, this is the US and she is free to state her opinions. I think its tough for her to be diplomatic when it comes to the liar/raper-in-chief.

    • art thiel

      Would that America would understand dissent as a cherished tradition.

  • tor5

    These kinds of sports/politics stories always get things going, and I much appreciate that you participate in the back-and-forth, Art! It is indeed awesome to see Rapinoe play at such a high level with this in the background. And just plain bizarre that some of your readers find outrage in her utterance of the f-word, but can’t find any offense in the president’s near daily disparagement of things like war heroes, public servants, women he doesn’t find attractive, and on and on. There are some impressive cognitive gymnastics going on there.

    • art thiel

      I’ve been trying to minimize political discussions on the site, because I appreciate how many fans want an escape. But when Trump invites himself in, response is fair game.

      • rosetta_stoned

        Once again, Trump was responding. Should he have? Probably not.
        But she started this mess all by herself.

        • art thiel

          Her public protest began when she joined Kaepernick in kneeling. Trump didn’t notice her then. He could have kept ignoring her, but she became a target of opportunity for his goals of dividing America and undermining the Constitution.

  • rosetta_stoned

    Megan Rapinoe – Putting the ‘I’ in team.
    And btw, Art. She was doing this when President Boyfriend was still in office.
    Trump simply responded to her insolence.

    • art thiel

      He doesn’t need to and probably shouldn’t have responded, as you have acknowledged. But his purpose is to divide and undermine.

  • Chuck Henry

    Just an amazing player. Very fast, aggressive getting down the field with the ball like Mia Hamm did. The back and forth on social media is good because now more people know about her. It’s all good folks, American’s like to argue and fight. We all love our country each in our own fashion.

    • Chuck Henry

      Hence playing for the NATIONAL team. USA USA!

  • Chuck Henry

    Politicians are all corporate criminals regardless of party. They like to bully people, and anyone can make a youtube video say anything they want. I am going to publish one that proclaims that I am emperor of the world and 33% or the dummies online will believe it.

  • Chuck Henry

    That’s the last political comment I have forever Art.