U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe tore the “send her back” chants launched by supporters at one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE's recent campaign rallies as “despicable.” 

“I think we’re one step away from just saying a racial slur on national television, from the president of the United States,” Rapinoe told The Charlotte Observer in an interview released Saturday.


Rapinoe then took aim at the president and his base over “send her back” chants that erupted at his campaign rally in North Carolina earlier this week in an attack on Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump to return to North Carolina to stump for special election candidate Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support MORE, who was born in Somalia and is a naturalized citizen.

The women’s soccer player called the chants “sad and disgusting and despicable.”

“At every step it’s shocking and I hope people don’t stop being shocked by it all, because it’s truly the worst of the worst,” she continued.

Trump, who has been under fire for the past week since telling the Somali American lawmaker and three other lawmakers of color to “go back” their home countries, sought to distance himself from the controversy by disavowing the chants later this week.

“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it,” Trump told reporters.

Rapinoe said in the interview that Omar “should be celebrated if anything.” 

“To come here and be in Congress — to be the woman that she is, to be the leader that she is, to bring that different voice to the table — I think is something incredible,” Rapinoe said. “Something that we need in this country to be better.”

“I think this country was quite literally built on the backs of people who weren’t from here and were forced to come here in slavery,” she continued. “But just in a broader sense, the best thing about this country is the diversity in the country and everything that it brings, and the fact that we have welcomed people from all over to create what has become the United States of America.”

When pressed during the interview about whether she believed the president crossed a line with his attacks on four lawmakers of color over the past week, she told the newspaper that “all the lines were crossed forever ago for Donald Trump, dating back to birtherism and the whole thing.”

"But certainly, it’s shocking," she added.