WNBA star Sue Bird explains why she spoke out against President Donald Trump in viral article

A few days after writing a lengthy article published by The Players’ Tribune to call out President Donald Trump and defend girlfriend Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird detailed what had prompted her to speak out.  

Bird said her mission wasn’t to make a political statement. Instead, she wanted to show her support for Rapinoe and the rest of the U.S. women’s national team.

“I don’t feel political. To me, this isn’t a matter of tax reform and things of that nature,” Bird said Wednesday (per The Associated Press). “This is treating people with respect, treating people like they’re a human, just like you are. That’s where I stand with it. That’s what I believe in. It’s very similar to what Megan believes in. More than anything, I wanted to have her back and talk about some soccer.”

In the article under the headline “So the President F*cking Hates My Girlfriend,” Bird responded to Trump’s twitter rant in which he criticized Rapinoe for her stance on visiting the White House and her decision to not sing the national anthem before each match. Bird wrote she “freaked out a little” when she saw what the president wrote but went on to share that Rapinoe was unfazed by the whole exchange.

“On some levels, if you read it, there is some humor in there. It’s a light, fun way to use your voice, but also address some things,” Bird said. “More than anything I wanted to hype Megan up a little bit and also have her back. … It was challenging at times trying to get the right messaging across that I wanted to convey, but I think all in all I’m happy with it. There has been a lot more love than hate. Unfortunately, there has been some hate, but that’s just reality we live in right now.”

Bird will be in attendance Sunday for the Women’s World Cup final and support Rapinoe in person. Bird, who plays for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, won’t miss any playing time to make the trip to Lyon, France, as she’s been sidelined because she had knee surgery in late May that was more extensive than expected.

She says she’s hoping to be ready for the WNBA playoffs, but “(t)hen it becomes this team has played an entire season without me, is that fair? And I’m already putting the carriage before the horse because who knows if I’m going to be ready by then?” Bird said. “It was definitely more extensive than we had initially thought going in. Which isn’t a bad thing, I think long term it’s a good thing. It just kind of sucks for this season.”

Bird said she’s excited to watch from the stands as the U.S. women’s national team faces the Netherlands in the final at 11 a.m. ET Sunday (Fox).

“What they’re doing right now, it’s amazing,” Bird said.