Donald Trump has said USA’s women footballers missed out on a gold medal at Tokyo 2020 because the team is “headed by a radical group of leftist maniacs”.
he US team started the Games as overwhelming favourites to take gold, but after a poor campaign, could only take the bronze medal after beating Australia 4-3 in the third-place play-off.
In a surprise intervention, the former president released a statement calling for the women’s team to “replace the wokesters with patriots”.
“If our soccer team, headed by a radical group of leftist maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the gold medal instead of the bronze,” a statement issued by his office says.
“Woke means you lose, everything that is woke goes bad, and our soccer team certainly has. There were, however, a few patriots standing. Unfortunately, they need more than that respecting our country and national anthem. They should replace the wokesters with patriots and start winning again.”
There was even a dig for the team’s star player Megan Rapinoe after she scored twice – one direct from a corner.
“The woman with the purple hair played terribly and spends too much time thinking about radical Left politics and not doing her job,” the statement added.
Pro-Trump conservatives had already turned on the team via social media prior to the former president’s statement. Some singled out the players for taking the knee, as Team GB’s women have also done at the Games.
His intervention came just hours after his followers were encouraged to carry around “Trump cards” to signal their support.
Save America, his fundraising committee, sent out an email to supporters on Wednesday asking them to choose from four designs for the cards, which resemble credit cards.
One included a direct message from the former president.
It was not entirely clear what the card would be used for, or whether it gave supporters any extra privileges.
The email showed four designs, all featuring a blood red background and gold letterings, as well as an American flag background, his official seal and signature, and the words “official Trump card”.