U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan, who was criticized for her tea-sipping celebration at the World Cup, claimed Friday that it wasn’t a dig at England or a reference to the Boston Tea Party.
Instead, she said, it was a nod to actress Sophie Turner’s Instagram posts.
“My celebration was actually more, ‘That’s the tea,’ which is telling a story, spreading news,” the U.S. forward said.
Turner’s Instagram account is filled with the “Game of Thrones” actress saying audacious or gossipy things, adding, “That’s the tea,” and taking a sip.
Morgan has been criticized for the celebration. Her former teammate on the Orlando Pride, Lianne Sanderson, a broadcast commentator during the World Cup for beIN Sports, called the celebration “distasteful.”
☕ @liannesanderson calls Alex Morgan’s tea sipping celebration “distasteful.”
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) July 2, 2019
“She can celebrate however she wants, and I’m a big believer in the Americans and how they celebrate, but this was disrespectful,” said Sanderson, a former striker for England’s national team.
Morgan pretended to sip tea after scoring the go-ahead goal in Tuesday’s semifinal victory over England, which sent the Americans into their third consecutive World Cup final. They’ll face the Netherlands for the championship on Sunday at Stade de Lyon.
Here for Alex Morgan’s sipping tea celebration ? pic.twitter.com/vUOhJolHJ4
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) July 2, 2019
Many on social media said Morgan’s actions showed a lack of class.
— Kevin Deitsch (@KDeitsch_wx) July 2, 2019
We are so disrespectful it’s pathetic. These women make me embarrassed to be an American.
— The Coach ? (@BlackVein90) July 2, 2019
Sad to say but the American Women’s soccer team has no class. Zero.https://t.co/6495SYSbuy
— Joseph Curl (@josephcurl) July 3, 2019
Morgan, speaking to reporters Friday, said the criticism of her celebration is sexist.
“I feel that there is some sort of double standard for females in sports to feel like we have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate but not too much, or do something but always in a limited fashion,” Morgan said.
She said it’s hard to understand the outrage when men have celebrated goals by grabbing their crotches.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 5, 2019
The U.S. national team has drawn some criticism for its goal celebrations in France. First, it was the repeated celebrations after every goal in a 13-0 rout of Thailand, which some said were unsportsmanlike. Carli Lloyd responded in the next game with a golf clap after her goal.
Megan Rapinoe struck an “Are you not entertained?” pose in the quarterfinals against France before Morgan’s tea sipping in the semis.
“I think everybody’s just kind of having fun with the celebrations and embracing the moment,” Lloyd said.
Yorkshire Tea company made light of Morgan’s celebration, tweeting a photo of a bag of team readied for shipping.
“Dear @USWNT, Sorry you had to drink pretend tea. If you’d run out of the proper stuff, you only had to ask! PS No hard feelings – good luck on Sunday.”
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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