USWNT Criticized for Celebrating Goals in World Cup Match Because Women Literally Cannot Win
The U.S. team beat Thailand 13-0 in a new World Cup record.
The U.S. Women’s National Team returns to the World Cup stage to defend their 2015 world championship title. In yesterday’s match against Thailand, the USWNT scored a resounding victory with a score of 13-0. The win wasn’t much of a surprise, given the team’s relative rankings, but the U.S. team was criticized for celebrating every one of their 13 goals.
Sports analysts from Canada and America took the team to task for effusively celebrating each goal. Former Canada national teamer Kaylyn Kyle said, “I think, as a Canadian, we would just never ever think about doing something like that.”
Meanwhile Fox Sports analyst Alexi Lalas praised the team for the decisive victory, while fellow commentator Rob Stone said, “I understand your point, but this one was done … This got humiliating at some point. It just became an exercise in target practice for the United States.”
Other sports pundits took to Twitter to call out the team:
Thailand just went over to its fans and god bless them. Bobby Bowden famously said, ‘It’s not my job to stop my team, that’s your job.’. But part of me thinks wheeling away in celebration of goals No. 11, 12, 13 isn’t right.
— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) June 11, 2019
What a disgraceful display of behaviour by the US at the World Cup. Celebrating goals 11, 12, 13?!They should be ashamed. It’s unacceptable pic.twitter.com/hgbiZAhDiM
— Peyvand (@coachPeyv) June 11, 2019
0.0 problem with the score line as this is THE tournament BUT celebrating goals (like #9) leaves a sour taste in my mouth like many of you. Curious to see if anyone apologizes for this postgame. #USWNT #FIFAWWC https://t.co/XfGh2e2Jms
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) June 11, 2019
Ah yes, how dare the USWNT excel at their careers, which they have spent years of their lives training for? How could they rejoice at scoring goals on an international stage while playing at the highest level possible? How dare they flaunt their victory in a series of high fives and hugs?
Strangely, I have never heard similar criticisms leveled at any male soccer team in the World Cup, or against any male athletes at all. It sure seems like, even in competitive sports, women cannot win. Or if they do win, they better be quiet about it. What would these critics have the players do, solemnly nod every time they score a goal? This is misogynist nonsense, pure and simple.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis said of the win, “For these players, four years now some of them have been working, some of them even longer, I don’t find it my job to go and harness my players and rein them in. This is a world championship.”
Star player Megan Rapinoe responded to the criticism saying, “First of all, this is the World Cup, this is something that [the players] have been dreaming about for their whole lives, so you can’t fault them for that joy. I think, honestly, if anyone wants to come at our team for not doing the right thing, not playing the right way, not being the right ambassador for the sport, they can come at us, because I think our only crime was an explosion of joy last night … if our crime is joy, then we’ll take that.”
And women across the world took to Twitter to call out the sexist pearl-clutching in the wake of USWNT’s decisive victory:
Ladies: Go out there and win. But not too much. And when you win, celebrate! But, oh no, not like that. And smile, for the love of sports, don’t forget to smile because you seem a little angry, OK? https://t.co/Aax5n2ubJS
— Susan Davis (@DaviSusan) June 12, 2019
Women are supposed to be nice, polite, considerate of everyone else’s feelings & supposed to do it all with a smile. Even on the athletic field. Meanwhile, men can be fierce, ruthless, cutthroat. Just get the win, right? No one ever talks about feelings in the men’s game.
— Bridget Liszewski (@BridgetOnTV) June 12, 2019
— Sally (@sheaven) June 12, 2019
— Felipe (@FelipeTorresMed) June 12, 2019
Also, the elation was contagious. The whole team had the same level of swagger. The hugs, the dancing, all widespread. Thought it was an inspiring display of soccer as the ultimate team sport.
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) June 12, 2019
3. It’s the World Cup, not the community college regional championships. I’m sure the other team can handle it.
4. “They celebrated too much.” Again, it’s the World Cup. They should celebrate all they want.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 12, 2019
Imagine a men’s sports team being accused of going too far because they played their best in a consequential match? You can’t because it wouldn’t happen. https://t.co/BQKEbFJIXL
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) June 12, 2019
Here’s an idea: If you win 13-0—the most goals for a single game in World Cup history—you should be paid at least equally to the men’s team.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 11, 2019
Every goal matters when the goal differential is the tiebreaker in group play. Athletes should always play to their skill level.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) June 12, 2019
For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 11, 2019
(image: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
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