President Donald Trump took a harsh stance against the U.S. Women’s National Team (UWNT) following the shocking loss to Sweden due to a missed penalty shot by Megan Rapinoe.
In a post on Sunday, Trump said the loss “is fully emblematic of what is happening to our once great Nation under Crooked Joe Biden.”
“Many of our players were openly hostile to America – No other country behaved in such a manner, or even close,” he added. “WOKE EQUALS FAILURE. Nice shot Megan, the USA is going to Hell!!! MAGA.”
Trump’s statement comes after Megan Rapinoe, a highly outspoken leader of the USWNT, missed a critical penalty kick against Sweden that knocked the US out of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Throughout her career, Rapinoe has strongly advocated for social justice and become an international symbol for her outspokenness. In 2016, she was one of the first athletes outside the NFL to join former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his attack on the U.S., its history, and its ideals.
Since then, other players on the U.S. team have followed suit and taken a knee during the national anthem, for which they were widely criticized. The team’s lack of patriotism is only more apparent on the international stage, as many of the other teams in the FIFA tournament openly displayed their patriotism.
Trump’s remarks have sparked intense debate among fans of the USWNT. While some agree with the president’s sentiment, others believe he is politicizing sports and forgetting that the players have recently performed exceedingly well on the national stage.
For her part, Rapinoe responded to her missed penalty shot with a mixture of humility and defiance.
“I mean, this is like a sick joke,” she said. “For me personally, this is like dark comedy that I missed a penalty. This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game. I think it can be cruel.”
Regardless of where one stands on President Trump’s statements, the missed penalty shot by Rapinoe was a blow to the USWNT’s excellent record in the FIFA tournament over the years, and the team will need to bounce back to avoid another early exit next time around.
“I think this team has always fought for so much more and that’s been the most rewarding part for me… To know that we’ve used our really special talent to do something that’s changed the world forever.” 🇺🇸❤️@USWNT‘s @mPinoe speaks with @JennyTaft after the game ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/NUx9Oku4mf
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 6, 2023