In what was arguably a flawless 2-0 victory over the Netherlands, the USA have claimed their fourth World Cup title – two of those consecutive wins. The team, captained by Megan Rapinoe, entered the finals with a pretty faultless scorecard. But in terms of how they were supported, the USA overcame a relentless flow of challenges to get there.
USA’s win of the 2019 World Cup was a master class in how to turn widespread criticism into a display of strength. The collection of challenges included Trump’s hypothetical invitation for the USA team to visit the White House – to which Rapinoe replied in an interview, “We’re not going to the fucking White House.”
Fearful of looking foolish (more than we know him for, anyway), Trump quickly backtracked on his denied invitation and suggested Rapinoe ought to “win before she talks”. Truly dignified speech from a truly dignified President.
….in our Country’s history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House. I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
Trump is now well and truly, eating his disgustingly condescending heart out.
Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2019
In the end, team USA persisted despite so many forces attempting to pull them down. Enduring labels they were ‘arrogant’ and ‘over confident’ for simply celebrating their wins, the team persevered despite the media’s obsession with painting them in any kind of negative light.
In the end, they ended up wining their fourth World Cup title – four more than the USA’s male team.
But let’s not perceive their win in terms of what their male counterparts have done – or not done. Rather, let’s commend their obvious greatness as a stand alone, world-class team that doesn’t require a comparison to be justified.
The awards ceremony at the World Cup stadium in France was a huge moment. The Cup’s controversial 2019 journey culminated as widespread chants of “equal pay for equal work” broke out. Meanwhile, we learned that whilst there’s obvious gender gaps in this industry (and beyond), there is a tide of hope that’s actually making the prospect of change and increased equality seem possible.
USA World Cup Finals Appearances
USA World Cup Victories
Women: 4 gold
Men: 2 gold
Salaries: Women make 38% of what their male counterparts make.
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) July 7, 2019
Whilst the team were dealt more than their fair share of criticism, they were also backed by a huge support base that also feel hopeful about where gender equality is headed. #EqualPay is trending on Twitter because there’s a wave of support for women’s league sporting teams to simply be valued for the work they tirelessly put in. People are hopeful that critics of women’s league sport will soon be out numbered by the many who actually value them for the equally as great individuals they are.
— Bénédicte Demarle (@BDemarle) July 7, 2019
— Chirlane McCray (@NYCFirstLady) July 7, 2019
It took all of U.S.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 7, 2019
I too am hopeful. The USA women’s team, as well as every other team that competed in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, is contributing to the journey toward equality. It’s been a fcking rocky road, there’s been hurdles and critics, but I think this cause is gaining more and more momentum.
I’m here for it, always. Bravo to the USA, to the many other teams, and all those who can look beyond the critics. We’re finally getting somewhere…
Sources: @DannyDeraney, @realDonaldTrump, @20AmberG, @jimena_dag, @NYCFirstLady, @USWNT, @BDemarle.