Donald Trump Takes Uncharacteristic Measured Approach on Megan Rapinoe’s Anthem Protest: An Analysis

High Press 10 June 25, 2019 352 Reads

President Donald Trump spoke out against Megan Rapinoe’s anthem protest yesterday.

No, it wasn’t through a stream-of-consciousness nonsensical tweet with a dozen grammatical and spelling errors.

No, he didn’t give her some school yard bully taunting nickname.

Instead, Trump offered a measured take that expressed some basic levels of respect that was bordering on complimentary.

Given how totally and completely out of character that is for the POTUS, it’s worth an examination.

First, here’s what Trump said

Before we get into an analysis, let’s first look at what Trump actually said.

In an interview with The Hill, Trump was asked if he thought Rapinoe’s protest (she doesn’t put her hand on her heart during the anthem) is appropriate.

Trump said…wait for it:

“No. I don’t think so.”

– Donald Trump about Megan Rapinoe’s protest, no seriously, that’s all he said

That was it! That’s all! Who is this guy? Did they really interview Trump? Was it Joe Biden wearing a Trump mask?

Here’s what Trump also said:

“I love watching women’s soccer. They’re really talented.”

– Donald Trump actually really said this too

And as to why the USWNT don’t receive the same treatment as the men:

“I think a lot of it also has to do with the economics. I mean who draws more, where is the money coming in. I know that when you have the great stars like [Portugal’s Cristiano] Ronaldo and some of these stars … that get paid a lot of money, but they draw hundreds of thousands of people.”

– Donald Trump contemplating something with a reasonable level of thought (for him)

Ok, so Trump name drops Cristiano Ronaldo, who is currently accused of rape and paid hush money to silence someone who accused him of rape. Who else is currently accused of rape? Donald Trump. 🤦‍♂️

Maybe he should’ve gone with Messi there.

Regardless, he then closes by saying:

“But I haven’t taken a position on that at all. I’d have to look at it.”

– Donald Trump again, no seriously

That’s…kind of responsible, right? This is virtually unprecedented in his Presidency / life in general.

Why / how did we get here?

1. Trump loves winners

If there’s one thing Trump loves more than anything, it’s cheeseburgers Putin literally being insane Putin bragging about sexual assault winning.

The only high-profile US team with a similar track record of winning is the men’s national basketball team.

Given the frequency though of USWNT games vs all of the iterations of the Dream Team, our women’s national program simply wins more.

2. Barron likes soccer

Trump’s son, Barron, likes soccer. He kicks the ball on the White House lawn.

Maybe Barron is a huge USWNT fan? If Trump has a soft spot for anything, it’s cheeseburgers Putin literally being insane Putin bragging about sexual assault his kids. So this is at least plausible.

3. Soccer is too popular to bash

This seems unlikely.

Trump had no problem bashing America’s most popular sport, the NFL. He took hardline stances on Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protest and Nike’s support of him.

Americans love the NFL. Some of Trump’s supporters view soccer as more of a European thing. If anything, that dichotomy makes it that more mind-boggling that Trump didn’t bash Rapinoe at all.

4. Trump’s most recent allegations

Right now isn’t exactly the best time for Trump to bash women.

Not that Trump listens to advisers / doesn’t do whatever the hell he damn well pleases, but people close to him have to be pleading that he not pick fights with any woman right now.

“Donald, handle this with kid gloves please,” is what they’re saying. And not just because he has tiny hands.

Final Analysis

All of the above is moot.

What’s going to happen: Trump reads something from an egg head on Twitter bashing him for not coming out stronger against Rapinoe. At 5:30am tomorrow he sends out a series of 5 tweets bashing the women’s team and soccer in general.

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