Megan Rapinoe isn’t afraid of being mouthy. In an interview with David Marchese for the New York Times Magazine, Rapinoe tries to explain why her saying “I’m not going to the fucking White House” made her into an overnight celebrity. “Rather than being a regular white girl in the 1 percent, I have a totally different perspective on things,” she says, “and it’s the basis for all the activism that I do.”
But she still doesn’t want to waste any time talking about Trump and his tantrums: When Marchese starts to ask her about the tweet where President Trump suggested that the U.S. National Women’s Soccer team first become world champions before preemptively dismissing an invitation to meet him, Rapinoe cuts him off. “‘Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Win it,’” she says. “I know, dude. Thanks, Trump. Thanks for the support.”
Throughout the interview, Rapinoe exudes coolness, despite not really knowing how to say “clap back” or use “lit” as an adjective. (Read the whole interview, it’s worth it.) Exhibit A: Rapinoe explaining why Trump’s attempts to intimidate her and her teammates never really fazed her:
Did his comments make you feel any extra pressure to win? Not really. I don’t think that there could be any more pressure. The reasons that we want to win are so deep and dynamic and layered. I mean, we sued the federation before going into the World Cup. We realize how much winning matters. We could have not won and come back and still helped grow the game, but we understand that if we win, everything changes. That was the more unifying pressure.
She handiky rejects the idea that Trump could perhaps be talked out of his morally reprehensible ways, or that it’s her responsibility to do so:
I’m not going to be naïve and think that I’m going to sit down with Trump and he’s going to change his mind. There are children locked up at the border who are dying, and that’s not fazing him. So why would I faze him?
Asked about why U.S. women’s soccer doesn’t get the same attention or resources as men’s soccer does, Rapinoe begins to sound frustrated: “I’m at a loss for why there’s not more investment. The national team is wildly popular, making tons of money, growing exponentially, so do you have an idea other than sexism as to why people aren’t investing in women’s sports in a huge way right now?” Marchese asks her if she’s sure it’s “just sexism”:
So is the answer just sexism? Unless I’m not thinking of something. I don’t think it’s a supercomplex issue. There’s plenty of money being invested all over the place in men’s sports, so until somebody tells me something that makes more sense, sexism is what we’re left with.
What does the women’s national soccer league really need? Money! It’s simple (emphasis mine):
People always ask, “What do you think the league needs?” What do you mean what does it need? We need to get out in the community more? No. We need to tweet about it more? No. It drives me nuts when people ask, “What do we need?” A billion dollars! So we can do things properly. Not like idiots, which is what we end up doing.
Who can relate? But the most endearing nugget is the one in which Rapinoe tells the story of how she started dating her girlfriend, Sue Bird, after they met at an after-party during the Brazil Olympics:
Actually, my manager had tasked me with finding someone for Sue in Seattle. I said, “I’m on it.” Then a week later I was like, I have someone for Sue: Hand up emoji. We’ve been together ever since.
May we all be so bold in our own professional and personal endeavors.