This summer, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) reminded their supporters across the globe that they are the best in the world. In July, the team acquired their fourth World Cup title, the most any national women’s team has won.
Along with the praise and fervent support of the team’s accomplishments, the USWNT created criticism throughout the tournament. Here are a few notable scenarios:
1) June 11 – Triumph over Thailand. In the first game of the tournament, the U.S. team routed Thailand to a scoreline of 13-nil. This performance topped the charts as the most lopsided game in tournament history, according to CBS Sports. Some argued this was obvious overkill; others thought it was nothing out of the ordinary among world class players when goal differential can end one’s season.
2) June 25 – Megan Rapinoe refuses White House trip. When asked by reporters, Rapinoe said she would not visit the White House should the USWNT capture their fourth title.
“I’m not going to the [expletive deleted] White House,” Rapinoe told EightbyEight magazine.
“I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” tweeted President Trump in response.
Fans watched and made their opinions known concerning the dispute between Rapinoe and President Trump. Some pointed out that Rapinoe has every right to protest and criticize elected officials, while others felt the feud with the president overshadowed the team’s successes.
3) July 2 – Alex Morgan’s “tea-sipping” celebration against England. After defeating the British team 2-1, many viewers decried Morgan’s celebration. After scoring the game-winning goal in this semi-final match, Morgan mimed sipping a cup of tea. Some labeled her gestures arrogant and distasteful, while others deemed it a harmless gag and the kind of taunting displayed in almost every professional sport.
Obviously, there is neither a lack of talent nor controversy when it comes to the USWNT. Their talent, confidence and dedication have won the hearts of people across the globe. Yet, over the summer, some fans’ hearts soured due to some players’ actions.
There’s no question that the USWNT have amassed a vast following around the world.
Dr. Cal Easterling, a professor of sociology at ORU, explained, “Athletes, whether they want to be or not, are role models.” According to him, “We should conduct our behavior at the highest level…and be positive role models.”
Today, the fan base appears torn. Some embrace the attitude and personality of the USWNT, and some question and criticize the behavior of the players.
Yet, for fans across the world, they surely did get “one more.” The USWNT brought home yet another World Cup title, and likely, much more than they or their fans ever imagined.