Letter #12: All Class
Hello ladies. First let me congratulate you on your dominant first game in group play. Well done. Second, I need to retract an earlier sentiment. During your throttling of Thailand, I tweeted that you all should be paid equal to the men’s team. I didn’t mean that. You shouldn’t be paid equally. You deserve more. My apologies.
I want to thank you for showing passion as you represented this country from whistle to whistle. You showed heart, dedication and a clear desire to be the very best. It made me very proud.
You are strong. You are role models. You are representing us all, and I think you are doing a hell of a job.
Apparently, there are some people who think the way you won and the way you celebrated each goal was classless. So, if I may, please let me address those people in this letter.
To the men who say, “Act like you’ve been there before,” I pose a question. Have you been there before? As a world-class elite soccer player representing the United States in the biggest stage for soccer? I’m assuming the answer is no. Have you scored 13 goals in one game as a man in the World Cup? Seeing as the women’s team scored more goals in one World Cup game yesterday than the USMNT have combined in the last four World Cups, I’d wager the answer to that question is no as well.
Are you upset with Steph Curry’s antics? Big Papi’s bat flips (sorry about the gunshot, big guy. Get well)? What about when the 1992 Dream Team scored 70 on Angola? No? You were fine with all of that? Then why don’t you just sit this one out and let the women work.
I’m exhausted with the sentiment that women can’t show emotion and passion in sports. It’s not ladylike, they say. Well, they aren’t there to charm you. They are there to win. And if you don’t want to see them celebrate, then play some defense. Don’t leave Alex Morgan wide open. Softball players can’t flip the bat. Serena Williams can’t argue a call. And now the best women athletes in the world can’t celebrate as they achieve exactly what they have been training for their entire life.
And to the Canadian soccer fans who are all worked up: go tap a tree and suck some syrup.
Go get that cup.