President Donald Trump said that he finds U.S. soccer star and co-captain Megan Rapinoe’s silence during the national anthem to be inappropriate.
He told The Hill that he “loves” watching women’s soccer, but would not agree that they deserve pay equal to the men’s team.
“I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics,” Trump said. “I mean who draws more, where is the money coming in. I know that when you have the great stars like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and some of these stars … that get paid a lot of money, but they draw hundreds of thousands of people.”
Rapinoe likely couldn’t care less how Trump — “misogynistic,” “racist” and “small minded,” in her words — views her behavior.
According to the Washington Post, she’s referred to herself as a “walking protest when it comes to the Trump administration.”
She added that the fact that she, an openly gay athlete, wears a U.S. jersey is “kind of a good ‘F you’ to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the administration might have towards people who don’t look exactly like [Trump].”
She has also previously taken a knee during the Anthem in a nod to football player Colin Kaepernick.
Rapinoe’s team has long been battling for equal pay, though it tentatively agreed to enter into mediation after this year’s World Cup. For context, per the Washington Post, the women won the World Cup in 2015 and split a bonus of $1.73 million. The men, meanwhile, were trounced in the Round of 16 — and shared a pot of $5.38 million.
The U.S. women’s team is favored to win the World Cup this year too.