President Donald Trump spoke out about the women’s soccer team during an interview with The Hill on Monday.
The U.S. women’s soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe decided to protest the national anthem during the Women’s World Cup, kneeling as a “walking protest.” When the president was asked about whether the action was appropriate in an interview, he was very firm in his answer.
“No. I don’t think so,” said Trump.
The president claimed that while he disapproved of the action, he enjoyed watching the team play.
“I love watching women’s soccer,” Trump said to The Hill. “They’re really talented.”
He was also asked about the pay gap, due to the women’s team suing U.S. Soccer for discrimination. The president claimed that there are many factors that go into an athlete’s pay.
“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.”
Although he shared his personal opinion, Trump claimed that he hadn’t taken an official position yet and would learn more about the issue.
“But I haven’t taken a position on that at all,” said Trump. “I’d have to look at it.”
As IJR Red reported, Trump has been very outspoken about his disapproval of national anthem protests after many NFL players began to kneel in protest of police brutality.
…..Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
“Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest,” Trump tweeted last year. “Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”
However, it does not seem likely that Rapinoe will face any consequences for kneeling during the anthem.