• Once Again, Progressive Obnoxiousness Ruins Something Wonderful

    Henry Bushnell reports on an epic, real-life wrap-up worthy of a fictional – but “woke” – sports drama: “U.S. wins Women’s World Cup on Rapinoe penalty, Lavelle goal” (Yahoo Sports)

    After four years of toil and hundreds of minutes of soccer at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, it all came down to Megan Rapinoe. To the stoic co-captain. To the transcendent personality, the face of the U.S. women’s national team – and now, after 90 minutes in Lyon, a two-time world champion.

    Rapinoe’s second-half penalty shot “broke Dutch resistance and ultimately clinched a second consecutive title for the U.S,” fixing sights on Team USA’s eventual 2-0 victory over the Netherlands.

    Over the past year, [the Americans] have been questioned, criticized, praised but also doubted. On Sunday, they emphatically capped another generation of dominance with another title.

    Bushnell doesn’t seem to disapprove that the US women

    approached the tournament with a calculated arrogance, with the most American of attitudes: We’re better than you. We know it. We’re going to prove it. We’re going to win. And they did. …

    They weren’t just better than opponents. They were the greatest U.S. national team of all time, a juggernaut whose depth led defender Ali Krieger to proclaim: “We have the best team in the world, and the second-best team in the world.”

    Hint to Krieger (and readers): generally speaking, self-inflation is not a good look whether it’s Donald Trump’s braggadocio or the graceless swaggering following victory on an international athletic field.

    (Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; /A stranger, and not your own lips — Proverbs 27:2 (NKJV)

    For months prior to the tournament, there were warnings. Proclamations that the rest of the world was catching up and closing a Title IX-inspired gap. Predictions that France would ring in a new world order in the quarterfinals, or England in the semis.

    In the end, at least for now, in 2019, it was all nonsense. The Dutch held strong for 60 minutes. Around the hour mark, they succumbed to a machine unlike any other in American sports.

    Still and all, for many a prospective American fan, the women’s triumph landed with a clank. Boorishness? Crassness? Anti-Americanism? Yup, it’s all been on display in the run-up to the ladies’ historic victory.

    For those somnolent the past few weeks, it all rolled out against the backdrop of the impudence of the units’ co-Captain:

    Columnist Marc Thiessen elaborates:

    Sadly, [Colin] Kaepernick, who blew up his NFL career by refusing to stand for the national anthem at games, is not alone in his hostility to patriotic symbols. Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the U.S. national women’s soccer team, refuses to place her hand over her heart with the rest of her team when the national anthem is played at the World Cup in Lyon, France. “I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” she told Yahoo Sports. “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”

    She says she is taking a stand against President Trump — sending an “F you” to his administration. But she started protesting the anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick in September 2016, before Trump was elected, when she played for the Seattle Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League.

    Thiessen allows “Rapinoe is an amazing athlete” and

    has every right to express her displeasure with the Trump administration. Many Americans have legitimate grievances with the president.

    But Rapinoe is not playing for the Trump administration; she is playing for the United States. It’s one thing for a professional athlete to protest the national anthem, but quite another for a member of Team USA to do it. Rapinoe is protesting the Stars and Stripes while wearing the Stars and Stripes. That’s not okay. Representing your country is a privilege, not a right. If she really feels she can’t show respect for the U.S. flag and anthem, then she shouldn’t wear the U.S. jersey.

    To reiterate a bottom-line truism too many seem unable to wrap their minds around: Just because a person can do something doesn’t mean he/she should do it.

    The opinionator then suggests Rapinoe’s unpatriotic loutishness is not only tasteless but counterproductive to some of the team’s concerns.

    Her protest comes at a time when the U.S. women’s team has taken an important stand against gender discrimination. … They have a point, and the World Cup is a chance to rally the country behind their cause. …

    Rapinoe is dividing Americans with her anthem protests. Untold numbers of Americans who might have been inspired to support the team’s cause have been alienated by its leader.

    Speaking of tasteless, the thirty-four-year-old midfielder ratcheted it up another notch when she volunteered,

    “if Team USA wins its fourth World Cup title, “I’m not going to the f—— White House.” … She has every right to stay home if she wins. But she does not have the right to protest the U.S. national anthem when playing for the U.S. national team.

    It’d be tough not to recognize the physical prowess and mastery of the game exhibited by the players on this women’s squad lately. Still, for many who love America and appreciate a certain level of class in any endeavor, working up enthusiasm for the team’s accomplishments? Well, that’s another matter altogether after being subjected to Rapinoe’s slovenliness.

    During the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, U.S. coach John Tortorella

    announced that “If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game.” Asked why, Tortorella told ESPN: “It is probably the most disrespectful thing you can do as a U.S. citizen.” He noted that “there are men and women that give their lives for their flag,” and those who have suffered “traumatic physical injuries, traumatic mental injuries.” Their service and sacrifice, Tortorella said, make it possible for athletes to play a game for a living.

    Many a soccer acolyte searching for that kind of principled ultimatum from the Team USA side of the World Cup were crushingly disappointed. For them, accordingly, what should have been a moment of undiluted sport’s enthusiasm was soiled by political and cultural squabbling. An opportunity to root for America on the athletic pitch was sullied by one loud-mouthed participants’ hissing at the nation which made her participation possible.

    We’re becoming accustomed to antics like this from petty, childish progressive blowhards – still, it’s wearisome. And it continues ruining what ought to be uplifting elements of society.

    Image: Creative Commons; CC by 2.0 Modified from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/highwaytodistraction/42752327052/

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