How often do I talk about sports in this column? Like never.
So you know something must be getting under my skin when I suddenly focus on the World Cup—granted, I’m talking about the Women’s World Cup.
Did you see the hell that the women’s U.S. soccer team got when it creamed Thailand at the opening game last week? In case you missed it (and you probably did because how many red-blooded Americans care about soccer?), the American team played spectacularly, beating Thailand 13 to 0.
After that awesome win, you’d think that commentators would be heaping on the praise, perhaps taking up the cause of pay equity for the team. (The U.S. Women’s National Team is now suing the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination. Though the women’s team generates more revenues and has a far superior record than the U.S. men’s team, they are paid less and get fewer benefits.)
Instead of adulation, the U.S. women faced a barrage of criticism for celebrating—too loudly and rambunctiously—every time they scored a goal. New York Magazine’s The Cut summarizes some of the criticisms:
“Some commentators took issue with [midfielder/winger] Megan Rapinoe’s joyous twirls following the ninth goal of the match, which ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman, a former player for the U.S. men’s team, said on Twitter left a ‘sour taste’ in his mouth. ESPN’s Max Bretos seemed to agree, tweeting: ‘I would tone down the celebration for the 9th goal, but that’s just me.’ On TSN’s World Cup show, former players for Canada’s national team called the celebrations ‘disgraceful.’ ”
I don’t regularly follow sports, but I have to ask: How much of this is about excessive celebration and how much of it is a gripe about female immodesty?
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