GOAL - James Westwood
Megan Rapinoe has reminded Donald Trump of his "incredible responsibility" as President of the United States, amid an ongoing row which endured throughout the 2019 Women's World Cup.
The 34-year-old led the USWNT to glory in France this summer, winning the Golden Ball as best player, the Golden Boot for finishing top scorer, as well as netting in a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final on Sunday.
Jill Ellis's side went through the whole tournament unbeaten, successfully defending the crown they won back in 2015 - taking the country's overall total to four.
Earlier in the year, Rapinoe stated she would not be "going to the f*cking White House" if the USWNT lifted the trophy this summer, but Trump quickly issued a rebuttal.
The US President advised the midfielder to "win first before she talks!" and "finish the job!" before also condemning her decision to protest the national anthem during the competition.
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Rapinoe has taken the war of words to the next level, claiming Trump's "message is excluding people".
"Your message is excluding people. You're excluding me. You're excluding people that look like me. You're excluding people of color. You're excluding... Americans that maybe support you."— CNN (@CNN) July 10, 2019
USWNT co-captain Megan Rapinoe's message to Pres. Trump. https://t.co/MME9lAZEp9 pic.twitter.com/YMRZKe4538
Looking straight into the camera in response to a question from CNN's Anderson Cooper, Rapinoe stated: "Your message is excluding people. You're excluding me, you're excluding people that look like me, you're excluding people of colour, you're excluding Americans that maybe support you.
"You're harking back to an era that was not great for everyone -- it might have been great for a few people, and maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it's not great for enough Americans in this world."
She added: "You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person, and you need to do better for everyone."
Rapinoe went on to admit she regrets the foul language she aimed at Trump, but reiterated her stance regarding a possible sit down at the White House.
The US skipper claims her team-mates all share her beliefs and that she does not wish for the team to be "put on display" by the current administration.
"I would not go, and every team-mate that I've talked to explicitly about it would not go," said Rapinoe.
"I don't think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we've worked so hard to build, and the things that we fight for, and the way that we live our life -- I don't think that we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration."