The U.S. Women’s Soccer team has been in many, many headlines for many, many reasons. And only a few of those were related to soccer.
From insulting President Donald Trump to making the victory stage a personal megaphone for indulgent political messages, the “woke” U.S. Soccer Team would rather make their legacy off of the field than on it.
Their choice stands in stark contrast to the Women’s U.S. Hockey team that won the gold in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
After their victory, the women’s hockey team was invited to the White House to meet and be congratulated by Trump — an invitation they accepted.
The American women defeated Canada 3-2 after a dazzling shootout to win the gold medal at the PyeongChang Olympic Games.
“On behalf of an entire Nation, CONGRATULATIONS to the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team on winning the GOLD! #GoTeamUSA #Olympics,” Trump tweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
As the national anthem played in Korea, the players all stood in solidarity and sang together.
The team’s solemn respect for the moment, their incredible victory and the nation whom they represented stands as an example of how champions should act. Their counterparts on the U.S. Soccer Team have squandered their opportunity to do the same.
Instead, the soccer team has worn an ungrateful mantle of political grandstanding and used their spotlight to highlight their own political agendas.
That is not to say athletes should never use their fame to advance a worthy cause. Nor does it mean that they do not have a right to advance it, but there are moments that transcend division.
Unity does not have to ignore imperfections in the collective, and patriotism does not have to be an endorsement of injustice.
Taking a stand for what you believe to be right shouldn’t prevent you from receiving the extended hand of congratulations from someone who disagrees with you.
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