Megan Rapinoe on U.S. Capitol attack: ‘It’s just striking how horrible it was’

The U.S. Women’s National Team veteran spoke about last week’s terrorist attack on the United States Capitol and what it says about the state of the country.

Video Transcript

MEGAN RAPINOE: You know, as I think it sets in and, you know, we're, I guess, almost a week out from January 6, which will certainly-- and rightfully so-- live on in the echoes of American history forever, it's just striking how horrible it was and just how insane it was, from you know, the climate in the country being such that we have, you know, our political leaders, our chief political leader inciting an actual, real-life murderous and deadly insurrection against his own government, against his own people, against his own party. The vice president of the United States was in the halls of Congress, as were congresspeople and, you know, senators alike and all the people that work in that building as well, from the staff to the Capitol Police, et cetera.

You know, to see where we've come in these four years has been devastating. And also just, I think, you know, hopefully the final straw for so many people to really understand, like, the reason that we're here is because we never have actually had a reckoning with what our country really is. Like, this is America. Make no mistake about it.

I think we showed very much our true colors. This is not the first time we've seen a murderous mob like that. I think, you know, unleashing a white supremacist mob is nothing new to America, as, you know, people of color-- Black and brown-- know that very well.

You know, all the calls for unity and justice, obviously, cannot come without justice-- or sorry, unity and sort of moving forward cannot come without justice. If we do not, you know, punish this and investigate this to the fullest extent, it only encourages more of this to happen.

I think, too, we should not underestimate what could have happened. I think that we are very lucky that that officer led them away from the Senate halls-- that mob. I mean, we saw people with weapons and people with zip ties and, like, why would-- they hung a-- you know, they put up a gallow outside the Capitol building where they were chanting to hang the vice president of the United States.

So anybody thinking, oh, well, you know, it's-- they wouldn't really have done that much-- and I think, honestly, we give, you know, the sort of-- a pass a little bit, maybe because it looks familiar to us because it's white or it's white supremacist or maybe we haven't, you know, seen this in our lifetimes. But I think that we should make no mistake about what the intent was behind it, and it was murderous mob. I mean, five people are dead, and we can't bring them back.

So this week, certainly, will be hugely consequential in the history of our country. It's going to be very intense. But I mean, just from a personal standpoint, it's very unsettling and scary. You know, I think the courage of the lawmakers to get back in there and continue their work and, you know, the utter bottomless of some of these lawmakers to continue to, you know, incite violence and still call for overturning the election when the mandate's been given by the United States and by the people of the United States is just absolutely insane. They should be held accountable.

And I think, in order for us to move on, that has to happen. We obviously have, you know, an extremely long road, amidst a global pandemic, where you literally have people sheltering from an insurrection happening on the capital, and they still will not wear a mask. And we're seeing, you know, outbreaks happening. A few lawmakers, you know, have tested positive.

So hopefully, this is the last layer that we needed to rip off, although it's been abundantly clear for, you know, a number of 100 years what the real issue is. This was about white supremacy and holding up white supremacy. And I hope that we can see this and, you know, move forward with justice. And I think that's the only way that we can actually move forward.

I think it's all out in the open. It's all stripped bare at this point. And so hopefully, you know, the lawmakers will have the courage to do what needs to be done, and everyday citizens, as well, will understand that we have a part to play in it, just as everybody else does. So this is a huge stain on the country but hopefully, an opportunity for us to move forward in the way that we need to.