You may have read that the U.S. Women’s National Soccer (USWNT) team beat Thailand 13-0, the biggest defeat in World Cup history. And instead of being applauded, the women were criticized on social media for celebrating.
It seems some felt it was unsportsmanlike to continue to score goals and make this win so lopsided.
A critical soccer analyst and former Canadian National Team player tweeted, “You are one of the best teams in the world. Act like it.” I’m really confused. What was the appropriate modus operandi? Once you are winning by however many goals should the team put on a pretty smile, act sweetly, and play less effectively? That’s ridiculous. Do you think if this was the men’s soccer team the social media response would have been the same? We all know the answer to that question.
In response to the absurdity of criticism, tennis great Billie Jean King tweeted,“Athletes should always play to their skill level.” Let me add, Life is not a spectator sport, in every facet of life, “Play to WIN!”
What are we teaching young girls if we are telling those women on the field to stop celebrating when they achieve a certain level? Or rather what are we teaching them if we say you can be good and you can even be great, but only up to a certain point? That’s like saying set your goals and reach for the sky —but make sure you stop before you get to the stars. With philosophies like that, women will never truly break that glass ceiling.
Women’s sports have come a long way –but it is still nowhere near equal to the funding and support men’s sports receive. And let me add that these same double standards apply to many professions. I have witnessed it first hand in business. Let me give you an example early on in my career.
At my very first real job, I was a Secretary to the Director of Advertising/PR. As part of my responsibilities I was able to use my talents –specifically in writing copy and the company’s monthly newsletter. In fact, that’s why I accepted the position. I received great comments from everyone on my talent and it was reflected in my pay raises.
The Company was growing rapidly and my very sweet boss Gayton shared with me that we were going to add a new member to our team. He was moving ‘George’ from engineering into our department. When I asked what George’s job description would be, he said that George would be writing copy and the newsletter. Of course, I asked if George had any experience and the reply was “No, but you can train him.” I would then be the Assistant to both George and Gayton. Does anyone see anything wrong with that scenario? Because I certainly did. No, I was not going to mentor someone to be my boss.
I went marching into the VP of Human Resources and promptly gave my resignation. He was stunned and of course asked why I was quitting. I told him. 1 hour later it was announced that I was being promoted to Assistant PR Director and could hire my own secretary. By the way, this was before the threat of discrimination. I was NOT going to take a back seat to a male, simply because I was female. Despite the fact that George refused to talk to me ever again and some men AND women actually criticized me because George was so nice, I really didn’t care. Nice did not make him qualified to take my job. In fact, I wrote a great article on myself and my new position for the newsletter. Yes, I did deserve the promotion and I celebrated. Remember, success is not for the weak spirited. Maybe because success requires a strong will, passion and a little bit of bitchiness society often criticizes women who have too much of it—we’ll talk more about that later. And if a woman has never been called a bitch in her life, she has probably led a very dull life.
But let’s get back to the U.S. women’s national soccer team. I am proud of YOU. And you should celebrate your victory with pride! You broke records, scored goals and inspired generations of young girls behind you. You did it.
For any of you who think these amazing women, should not have celebrated, let me give you a few examples of men who have won!
USA Men’s National Basketball Team
The largest margin of victory in a single game for a USA National Team is 83 points and was done in the 2012 London Olympics on Aug. 2, 2012, when the Americans defeated Nigeria 156-73.
Super Bowl Victory
In 1990, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV 55–10.
Major League Baseball
Aug. 22, 2007: Texas Rangers 30 – Baltimore Orioles 3
Last but not least in 1966, Muhammad Ali knocked out Brian London with a sensational 12 punch combination in just 3.12 seconds. And he was called an
unfair fighter —OOOPS I’m wrong he was called “The GREATEST”
Ladies you are THE GREATEST! And celebrating as a team like you did was the best “girl” gift you could give each other.