Rapinoe stands by comments about not visiting White House

Coach, teammates stand by soccer star

By Jill Martin, CNN
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Megan Rapinoe

(CNN) - Megan Rapinoe isn't backing down.

The US Women's National Team forward, speaking ahead of Friday's blockbuster Women's World Cup quarterfinal match against host nation France, reiterated Thursday that she would not visit the White House.

On Tuesday, Eight by Eight, a soccer magazine, released video of Rapinoe telling a reporter in January, "I'm not going to the f*****g White House" if the US wins the Women's World Cup.

"I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House -- with the exception of the expletive," Rapinoe said in Paris on Thursday. "My mom would be very upset about that.

"But I think obviously, entering with a lot of passion considering how much, you know, time and effort and pride we take in the platform that we have and using it for good and for leaving the game in a better place, and hopefully the world in a better place, 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.

"I'll just leave it at that, and I'm not interested in answering any of those questions. We can get to the real reason we're here -- which is a huge game."

There appears to be no issue on Rapinoe's stance or previous comments from US head coach Jill Ellis.

"We all support Megan," Ellis said. "She knows that, we know we have each others' backs in there. I think for our players, there's only one purpose, one mission that we're here. Comments, media, whatever, it's always been something that, you know, I think we can block out pretty easily."

The US plays France at 3 p.m. ET on Friday -- a matchup many consider worthy of a final.

Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger opt out of White House visit

In a series of tweets Wednesday, President Donald Trump claimed that sports teams "love coming to the White House" and attacked Rapinoe, saying she "should WIN first before she talks!"

"Finish the job!" Trump said.

The President then extended an invitation "win or lose" to the US Women's National Team.

"We haven't yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose," he wrote. "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."

USA defender Ali Krieger stood by Rapinoe after Trump criticized her teammate, writing on Twitter on Wednesday, "In regards to the 'President's' tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well."

In a story released in May by Time Magazine, Alex Morgan also said she would not visit the White House.

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