Megan Rapinoe has been outspoken in herBefore the U.S. Women’s National Team ever won the World Cup, Rapinoe was vowing not to visit the White House. After the team did win, Now, she’s opening up about how her family may have viewed that choice.
The team captain has talked about politics and family before, telling Vox last month, “a lot of my family members I’m sure voted for Trump.”
In a new interview with The Guardian, Rapinoe revealed it was her dad who probably did.
Rapinoe has talked about the support she’s received from her family – including her brother, Brian, a former white supremacist who is currently incarcerated. Despite her liberal views, Rapinoe is close to her conservative relatives.
“I’m very similar to how they are, even though I think my dad voted for Trump and I’ll say: ‘I don’t get it. How are you simultaneously as proud as punch of me, and watching Fox News all the time, [who are doing] takedowns of your daughter?’ That’s why I’m like: ‘You guys need to go to therapy,'” she told the Guardian.
Rapinoe doesn’t understand why neither of her parents are “progressive,” she told the Guardian. “I’m always saying: ‘You guys should really be Democrats!’ But they’re not, so what’s happening?” she said.
Rapinoe’s dad may support people who are critical of his daughter, but she has opened up a dialogue with her parents and sees progress and growth within them. She acknowledges, however, there have been “major blow-ups.”
“I would love it if people understood you should never say racist things and be OK with gay people, or whatever it is. But, obviously, it doesn’t happen that quickly,” she said.
In recent years, Rapinoe has made several political displays, that she said opened a dialogue with her parents. She followed in another Trump foe’s footsteps: She started kneeling during the national anthem, like Colin Kaepernick. She has also , and has been outspoken about her sexuality.
“At one point, my mom was telling all her work friends: ‘Oh, my daughters’ – because my sister is gay, too – ‘Oh, the twins are gay, blah blah blah,'” she told the Guardian. “Meanwhile, their kids were dropping out of high school and having drug problems and doing all these crazy things, and they were like: ‘You don’t have any problems! All your kids are amazing, they’re doing sport and getting their college paid for and doing great,'” she said.
Rapinoe saw the irony in the situation: Other kids were doing much worse, yet her sexuality seemed like a problem. She wouldn’t let it continue to be an issue, though. “I was like: ‘You guys need to get on board or get out.’ We had some tense times, but it came down to, ‘You’re either in this or not.'”
The soccer star said it actually was not a struggle to come out during college. “I thought: ‘This is awesome – and if people aren’t down with it I don’t really care to have them in my life, anyway,'” she told the Guardian. “My parents said: ‘What are people going to say?’ and: ‘We don’t want things to be harder for you.’ But I don’t think I ever saw ways in which it was harder.”
Despite her political differences with her parents, Rapinoe does not back down from defending what she believes in – and loving them. “I talk to my parents all the time, every day,” she said.