Conservatives object to Melania’s Team USA shout-out: ‘They don’t deserve your attention, Mrs. Trump’

Erin Donnelly

Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final between Team USA and the Netherlands captivated soccer fans all over the world and saw Megan Rapinoe and her teammates bring home their second consecutive trophy.

And while Rapinoe and Donald Trump have made it clear that there’s no love lost between them — he called her silent protests during the national anthem inappropriate, and accused her of showing “disrespect” after she rebuffed the prospect of a White House invite — even the president and first lady were among those cheering on the women’s soccer team.

While POTUS’s tweet congratulating the team on their victory invited some trolling from his critics, the well wishes Melania Trump posted on Instagram got a different sort of frosty reaction.

While some Trump supporters saw FLOTUS’s message as “classy” — ”I love this FLOTUS. Her husband takes massive abuse from [a] player or two on this team and she still wishes a huge congratulations to them! Class and grace!” wrote one fan — many conservatives disagreed with her Team USA shoutout.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Marine One after returning to the White House in Washington, DC on July 7, 2019. - Trump is returning to Washington after spending the weekend at his Bedminster golf resort. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Both the Trumps posted messages backing Team USA. (Photo: Alex Edelman / AFP)

Commenters took the opportunity to slam players for, in the words of one critic, “using their platform for president-bashing.” Rapinoe, an outspoken critic of Trump, drew particular condemnation and homophobic abuse from those calling her a “dude” and “purple-haired man.”

“I am ashamed of the one player who disrespected the USA — it was very hard to pull for her,” read one comment. “I wish she’d had the strength of character to abstain from playing for a country she so obviously loathes and I wish the coach had the courage to bench her.”

“Congratulations to Team USA except the dude that kept running his mouth about my president,” added a FLOTUS follower.

“After the way they trashed our president and declined the invite to the White House before they even won, they don’t deserve your attention, Mrs. Trump,” argued one commenter.

“They’re paid to win,” shot back another Rapinoe critic. “I refuse to acknowledge them for using their platform for president-bashing!!!!”

“I will not congratulate anti-American women or men,” wrote a commenter.

First daughter Ivanka Trump received similar responses when she tweeted her support for the team on Sunday.

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