Rapinoe doubtful on Capitol Hill visit, won’t seek office (for now)

The USWNT captain says U.S. Soccer wants the women to visit the White House, too

(Photo illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)
(Photo illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)
Posted December 9, 2019 at 2:33pm

Those hoping to find the world-conquering U.S. women’s soccer team roaming the halls of Congress may be disappointed. Despite an invitation from congressional leaders, it appears the U.S. Soccer federation doesn’t want to arrange a team trip without the team going to the White House as well.

Megan Rapinoe. the team captain, said she would like to “visit Congress with her team, but she doesn’t think U.S. Soccer is willing to organize a trip that skips the White House, with the World Cup coming to the U.S. in 2026,” according to an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine. The 2026 World Cup has nothing to do with the visit, according to U.S. Soccer.

Rapinoe, named the magazine’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year, famously declared during this year’s Women’s World Cup that there is no way she’s “going to the f—ing White House.” President Donald Trump later tweeted that he would invite the team no matter what but that Rapinoe “should finish the job” before talking.

Despite his earlier statement, Trump struck a noncommittal tone after the victory when asked about extending a potential invitation to the women. “We haven’t really thought about it. We’ll look at that,” he told reporters.

The women’s team has received far warmer invitations from both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. Rapinoe said the team would be happy to accept an invite to Capitol Hill.

Since leading the team to back-to-back World Cup titles, Rapinoe has become even more politically active, joining former first lady Michelle Obama for a voter-participation initiative, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and advocating for women’s equal pay.

You could be forgiven for thinking this flurry of political activity is the prelude to future in politics.

But Rapinoe, 34, is ruling out a run for office “anytime soon,” according to the SI interview.