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 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.
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.
I respect you Ivanka, and respectively I’m not a “go USA” with this arrogant group. Respect is earned. Humility brings honor. Not watching.
— Karyn Jo (@KarynJo316) July 7, 2019
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