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Donald Trump is picking a fight that Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe will not back down from.
Sue Bird is one of the best basketball players in the world, and she’s also one of the most famous outside of the WNBA, too.
On Tuesday, Bird wrote an article partially excoriating president Donald Trump and defending life partner and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team leader Megan Rapinoe in an editorial for Players Tribune, a publication founded specifically to allow professional athletes to express their opinions in an unfiltered manner.
Rapinoe was recently attacked via Twitter by the president after telling a reporter “No, I’m not going to the f**king White House” when asked if she’d do so if Team USA won the Women’s World Cup. As some may recall, Rapinoe is also one of the first non-African American athletes to kneel to protest police brutality and oppression in America, following the lead of Colin Kaepernick.
It is moments like these where media helps balance the playing field between tyranny and inclusion.
“It’s not just his tweets. Because now suddenly you’ve got all these MAGA [Make America Great Again] peeps getting hostile in your mentions,” she wrote. “And you’ve got all these crazy blogs writing terrible things about this person you care so much about. And now they’re doing takedowns of Megan on Fox News, and who knows whatever else. It’s like an out-of-body experience, really — that’s how I’d describe it. That’s how it was for me.”
Though from a popularity standpoint, both Bird and Rapinoe are light years beyond that of one of the most disliked presidents in recent history, the White House resources at Trump’s disposal make him a very formidable and petty adversary to engage in any arena.
However, for a multitude of reasons, athletes are refusing to simply shut up and play. They’re fighting back against a pattern of presidential bullying that many would shy away from.
The entire article is not a rant about how bad the president is, but is more of a personal and positive ode towards Meghan and her teammates.
Bird simply lists a bunch of reasons why Rapinoe, or any self-respecting woman, would refuse an invitation to the White House from Donald Trump, which includes the following: he has never invited a WNBA champion to the White House, Dawn Staley’s championship winning South Carolina team was not initially invited to the White House, but Baylor’s title winning team, coached by Kim Mulkey, was invited without hesitation.
Rapinoe is an unapologetic force who isn’t afraid to take a stand. She joined LeBron James, Sue Bird, Ty Young and Patricio Manuel in donning Pride inspired “Love is UNINTERRUPTED” hoodies, a campaign created by UNINTERRUPTED in collaboration with Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe, in a sign of unity with those who celebrated Pride last month.
Sue and I designed this hoodie to acknowledge the history of pride and to end homophobic violence and bullying. We collaborated with @melodyehsani on this custom piece to acknowledge, empower and educate allies of #LGBTQ youth of color. Every detail on the design matters, from the lambda symbol to stonewall tribute, not one of the 200 hoodies is the same, but together they unite wearers in support of intersectional young people who are too often marginalized and who face disproportionate levels of attacks and barriers every day. Love is loud. Love is freedom. Stand up for queer youth of color, for people and organizations doing the work that celebrates and protects them and for love through our campaign with @athletes4impact and @uninterrupted
43.7k Likes, 776 Comments – Megan Rapinoe (@mrapinoe) on Instagram: “Sue and I designed this hoodie to acknowledge the history of pride and to end homophobic violence…”
Bird’s letter defending her loved one from presidential bullying is a small gesture that amount to giant statements in the eyes of an increasingly polarized populous.
Yet together, she and Bird are a united power couple both on and off the pitch/court.