Is criticism of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s loss in the World Cup Final on mute? If so, why?
I offer a Twitter message from ESPN’s Ryen Russillo regarding the U.S. falling short to Japan. His tweet was, “It’s interesting how twitter is reacting to soccer loss. If it was men’s soccer they’d be getting destroyed for losing like that.”
When I first read Russillo’s words my reaction was one of complete agreement. I had already formed the opinion based on the post-match commentary the national emotion of losing the World Cup was overshadowing the horrific way the team failed to capitalize on chance after chance…hold a lead, etc. Indeed, if that was the men’s team the post-game
analysis would likely have been much more critical. The U.S. was considered a
heavy favorite, had never lost to Japan…and the way they lost was almost inexplicable.
However…upon a second reading of his words I started to wonder if he meant any team in any sport that lost the way the U.S. did would be getting severely criticized and he wrote “men’s soccer” because it was a soccer game involved…or if he was making a broader point on how women and men’s sports are not equally thought of? Perhaps it was his “commentary” on how seriously we treat each gender’s competition and how willing we are to be critical of competitors in their respective arenas of play?
Was there so much emotional goodwill in the bank for this team already the masses and the media can’t help overlooking their disastrous finale? Or is it something else at play here…? Thoughts?