The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has been making headlines for weeks, and even more so after they emerged as the World Champions in the 2019 FIFA World Cup following the final match on July 7. Well, it looks like the former president of the United States is chanting "U-S-A," because Barack Obama's photo with a U.S. Women's soccer jersey is all about his support for the team. Add that jersey to the collection, Mr. President.
On July 10, the same day that the team was honored with a ticker tape parade in New York City, President Barack Obama took to Twitter to congratulate the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) for winning the 2019 World Cup. Obama shared a photo of himself holding up a U.S. Women's jersey with his last name embroidered on the back, and captioned the photo with a warm and heartfelt message in honor of the team. He wrote,
Proud to rep America’s best team! Congrats @USWNT and thanks for being such a strong inspiration for women and girls—and everybody—all across the country.
The U.S. Women's National Team solidified their status as champions in a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands during the 2019 World Cup final on Sunday, June 7. This year's World Cup was one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, with 14.3 million U.S. viewers tuning in to watch the team score their fourth World Cup title (and second in a row!), per Reuters.
President Obama isn't the only one who's decided to rep the soccer team by snagging a jersey. According to CBS Sports, the U.S. Women's team has made history yet again after their uniforms became Nike's all time highest selling soccer jersey, beating sales of men's team soccer jerseys in 2019. So, it looks like President Obama will match with quite a few people while rocking his new ensemble.
It's pretty significant that the president chose to get himself a USWNT jersey, given the team's current fight over equal pay. In March 2019, the team filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation, alleging pay discrimination and claiming that female players earn 38% of what male players make in a year. U.S. Soccer has denied allegations of gender discrimination, saying in a May 2019 court filing that differences in revenue from the teams were behind pay differences — something that the soccer jersey sales seem to counter. In June both sides agreed to mediation, to take place after the end of the 2019 World Cup.
While the USWNT may be a hit with the public, they're not popular with everyone. On Tuesday, June 25, Eight by Eight released an excerpt from an interview with team co-captain Megan Rapinoe, in which she said that she didn't intend to visit the White House. "I'm not going to the f*cking White House," she scoffed.
"We’re not gonna be invited,” Rapinoe said. “I doubt it.”
Rapinoe's interview received mixed reception from the public. While some praised her candid comments, President Donald Trump called out Rapinoe for "disrespecting our country" in a series of tweets.
However, the bad blood apparently didn't last long. Following the team's victory, Trump took to Twitter to congratulate them on July 7. He wrote,
Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!
As of publication, no public plan for a team visit has been announced. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on when and whether the team will be invited, but did not hear back in time for publication.
However, on July 9, CBS News reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to invite the U.S. Women's team to a formal event at Capitol Hill to celebrate their World Cup title. According to CBS News, both Democratic and GOP politicians are on board, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both praising the team's hard work and impressive performance.
These players are definitely forces to be reckoned with. Clearly, Obama has joined the bandwagon.