Megan Rapinoe, a co-captain of the US Women’s National Soccer Team and prominent LGBTQ advocate, has earned international praise for helping to lead America to the World Cup semifinals against England on Tuesday. Rapinoe gained even more attention after an off-the-field showdown with President Donald Trump played out on Twitter.
Rapinoe, who refuses to sing the National Anthem out of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, was asked by Eight By Eight Magazine in January if she was excited about the prospect of going to the White House if the USWNT wins the World Cup. Rapinoe said: “I’m not going to the $%*@%#^ White House. No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited. I doubt it.”
Trump, who often criticizes athletes who protest the White House or the National Anthem, responded by posting a three-part thread on Twitter saying, “Other than the NBA… leagues and teams love coming to the White House. I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear.”
Each day, YouGov asks a nationally representative sample of Americans to rate the president's tweets on a five-point scale from Great (+2) to Terrible (-2), which produces an overall score for how the general population feels about the tweet on a scale from -200 (if everyone thinks it is terrible) to +200 (if everyone thinks it is great).
Trump’s tweet telling Rapinoe to “finish the job” and “be proud of the flag you wear” earned an overall score of -24, according to the YouGov TweetIndex. That score is marginally below the median score that Trump’s tweets usually earn of -19. Democrats scored the tweet -132, which is 23-points below the median score his tweets normally earn (-109) among this group. Independents also scored this tweet below their median—it scored a -26, which lands 12 points below their median score of -14.
Republicans scored the tweet +109, which is eight points above their median score of +101. A YouGov poll of more than 10,500 US adults in September 2018 found that Republicans are prone to support Trump’s criticism of athletes who protest the White House or the National Anthem. When asked their view about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, three in four (75%) Republicans selected the response: “I don’t support this act and I don’t think it should be allowed.”
Other players on the US Women’s National Team have shared their desire to skip a White House visit before and after Trump targeted Rapinoe on Twitter. USWNT Forward Alex Morgan told Time Magazine she does not “stand for a lot of things the current office stands for,” while USWNT Defender Ali Krieger said on Twitter, “I stand by [Megan Rapinoe] and will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.”
Rapinoe, who scored the only American goals in recent qualifying matches against Sweden and France, accepted a Twitter invitation from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to tour the House of Representatives with her team.
You can review the history of our ratings of President Trump's tweets back to February 2017 on our YouGov TweetIndex.