The US Women’s National Soccer team saw its World Cup chapter come to a close the other day. It ended on penalty kicks. They lost to the Swedish National Team who had been their nemesis for some time. USA today ascribed their demise to being “old and slow.” They’re right, but that’s not all of it.
It was wonderful when the USWNT won the World Cup in 2019. All of the US supported them. Funny thing about notoriety, though. How you use it has so much effect on so many other things. In 2015 it was all about team. By 2019 cracks were appearing in the facade. In 2020 the USWNT decided to politicize their notoriety by wearing BLM warm-ups, taking a knee during the national anthem and issuing statements like this:
“Today, we wear Black Lives Matter to affirm human decency. We protest against racial injustice and police brutality against Black people. We protest against the racist infrastructures that do not provide equal opportunity for Black and brown people to fulfill their dreams, including playing on this team.
“As the United States Women’s National team players, we collectively work toward a society where the American ideals are upheld, and Black lives are no longer systematically targeted.”
Amusingly, they were never particularly diverse.
Over time Megan Rapinoe assumed the mantle of lightning rod and the team increasingly became about her. She took a knee in support of Colin Kaepernick in 2016.
This gradually began into infect her teammates.
In 2019 when asked about a potential White House visit, she said
“I’m not going to the f—ing White House,”
Alex Morgan decided to join the boycott. GLAAD issued its own statement
“Megan Rapinoe is an incredible athlete who for years has used her platform to speak out against police brutality and racial profiling,”
Yes she did. The problem is no one cares. No one wants the National Team spitting on its own country. It is not the proper outlet.
Despite wanting the US to win I have to admit to a bout of schadenfreude when Rapinoe choked. I was glad it was her and not someone else. Over time Rapinoe became more and more egoistic and egocentric. The USNWT was about her and not really about soccer. She demanded and got equal pay with the men’s team despite losing to a high school boy’s U-15 soccer team in Dallas and not bringing in anywhere near the purse the men bring.
So congrats, Megan. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. It’s going to be a long time before I will be able to muster any enthusiasm for the USNWT. It’s likely to be about the same time they show some respect for the flag, anthem and country.