American football star Megan Rapinoe is a team player. She is fighting for her sport, defending her teammates and even bringing this mentality to the field and the political arena – which means that not everyone who is not part of her ideological team is welcome.
After the US women's football team won the World Cup, Rapinoe said she would only meet politicians sharing her world view. "Yes to AOC, yes to Nancy Pelosi," said Rapinoe. "Yes to the bipartisan congress, yes to Chuck Schumer, yes to any other person who wants to invite us and have a real and substantial conversation and who believes in the same thing we believe in."
Of course, President Trump does not make the cut.
"I do not think team members have an interest in lending the platform that we have worked hard to build and the things we fight for and the way we live our lives." I do not think so. that we wanted to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration, "Rapinoe told CNN at the request of his acceptance of Trump's invitation to the White House.
Protesting political ideas is acceptable and sometimes necessary. Admittedly, there are problems that require bold opposition, even if it means refusing an invitation to the White House.
This is not unprecedented or even exclusive to a political party. Several members of the Miami Dolphins in 1972 refused to meet former President Barack Obama in 2013 because they disagreed with his administration. Larry Bird notably ignored the Boston Celtics' visit to the White House to meet Ronald Reagan after winning the title in 1984. And so on.
But Rapinoe's statement of exclusivity suggests it's more than a statement. It is a deliberate attempt to isolate oneself from different opinions and ideologies. It's useless and dangerous. This is useless, because despite all the efforts we can make to hide ideas with which we do not agree, it is impossible to turn around without being confronted with a set of different ideas that put into question our vision of the world carefully soothed. In these times of polarization, it is easy to forget that there is a multitude of opinions on a variety of meticulous topics across the country.
And that's a good thing. We should listen with pleasure to those with whom we do not agree. Ideas exist to be challenged. Refusing to feed opposing ideas may remove the distinction between humanity and a person's politics. This creates an indissoluble barrier that prevents you from looking at another human being and seeing something other than what you do not like. This distinction is imperative if we want to live, work and support each other in a society created and defended by "us, the peoples".
One would think that Rapinoe understood this based on her speech on Wednesday, in which she stated that the only way forward, it is "to love more, to hate less".
"We have to listen more and talk less," she said. "We know it's the responsibility of everyone, of everyone here. Every person who is not here, every person who does not want to be here. Every person who is in agreement and who does not agree.
Every person – except, of course, this person is Trump. I understood. Rapinoe has her political stance and she commits herself to it. But the belief in a certain set of values is best manifested by an open will to challenge and defend these ideas. I hope Rapinoe's tribalist's statement was a semantic mistake. For if we are only in this for our teams and our ideas, we would miss the best of a free society based on an open dialogue.
It may seem difficult to give up the political guard, but it is not the case: I may not agree with the political opinions of Rapinoe, but I will gladly encourage him on the football field every days.