The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team took heavy criticism for perpetrating “classless” and over-the-top goal celebrations as they crushed Thailand 13-0 in the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday.
In one particularly egregious example, U.S. co-captain Megan Rapinoe cavorted all over the filed sliding, clapping, and congratulating herself on a goal.
RAPINOE JOINS THE PARTY! 9-0 USA!
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 11, 2019
Tuesday’s game in Reims, France, was a blow-out record, but the constant overly enthusiastic celebrations with each goal late in the game by the U.S. team felt unseemly to many, according to the New York Post.
ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, for instance, felt that the celebrations left a “sour taste” in his mouth. He also wondered if the U.S. team should end up apologizing for the garish display.
0.0 problem with the score line as this is THE tournament BUT celebrating goals (like #9) leaves a sour taste in my mouth like many of you. Curious to see if anyone apologizes for this postgame. #USWNT #FIFAWWC https://t.co/XfGh2e2Jms
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) June 11, 2019
Commentators on Canada’s TSN World Cup show slammed the displays of glee calling the behavior “disgraceful” and “disrespectful.” Former World Cup players Clare Rustad, Kaylyn Kyle, and Diana Matheson also zeroed in on Rapinoe and Morgan calling their actions “classless.”
— WoSo Comps (@WoSo_Comps) June 11, 2019
However, former U.S. Women’s Soccer champion Abby Wambach decided to make the celebrations a gender issue.
“For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there [sic] first World Cup goal, and they should be excited,” Wambach tweeted. “Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate. Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?”
For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 11, 2019
But many accused the U.S. team of lacking humility:
Stop making it about gender. Ugh. That has nothing to do with it.
Also, Megan Rapinoe scored the 9th goal. It wasn't her first World Cup goal. If you think that excessive celebration is acceptable then say it. https://t.co/qpIrFd7rHL
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) June 12, 2019
The #USWNT scoring 13 goals I’ve got no issue with at all. It’s the #WorldCup but the Celebration by your captain Rapinoe when it’s 9-0 was ridiculous. To do it when your up 9 goals is wrong. You’re playing on the biggest stage the world is watching show so some class and respect
— Brandon Stokley (@bstokley14) June 12, 2019
Morgan & Rapinoe are exceptional soccer players, great ambassadors & seem like good people. Morgan & Rapinoe fucked up celebrating their balls off after scoring goals # 10, 11 & 12 vs a helpless Thailand. Why is it so hard for USWNT fanatics to admit all these things can be true?
— Sam's Army Podcast (@samsarmy) June 12, 2019
With all due respect, celebrating the way Megan Rapinoe did at 9-0 is classless and an utter embarrassment. To support that is to not know what winning with class means. Disgrace, be it men or women. Show me the pirouettes Germany did when they bear Brazil 7-1. pic.twitter.com/Z0iHT1OyVy
— Enrique Martinez 🇸 🇺🇸 (@enriquenyc2018) June 11, 2019
Re: USA 13 Thailand 0. SHouldn't have been fun for anyone .Most perplexing is the excessive enthusiastic celebrating by the Americans (players, subs, coaches)after their goals (Rapinoe's 9th was the worst). Terrible sportsmanship.
— Jay foster (@Jayfoster77) June 11, 2019
this is not an issue of gender, but more an issue of sportsmanship. no one is saying not to celebrate, instead they’re commenting on the necessity of rapinoe sliding across the field in celebration when the score is 9-0. https://t.co/hPzSs0Fko4
— emily anderson (@emily7_anderson) June 11, 2019
Oh agreed. Run up the score. But celebrate like that when you're 13 goals up is gross. They did the same in #yeg years ago and kicked balls at fans when they booed them. Hopefully culture changes after Rapinoe retires.
— Ricardo Casanova (@RicoCasanova) June 11, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.