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Controversies taint amazing World Cup win by US Women

Just in case you have been living in a bubble or you are not into the sports scene, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team did something truly historic; they took home the fourth World Cup title in this country’s history.
But, the road to that title has been immersed in a number of controversies that have made national and international news and have stirred the emotions of many a person, including myself.
Before we address those controversies, let’s first acknowledge what an amazing accomplishment this truly was. No other country has more titles than the United States, which goes to show how dominating this country has been since 1991.
Despite the views and comments expressed by certain members of the team, we, as citizens of this great country should be proud of the on-field performance of the players and their achievement. Remember, more than likely, not all of the team members share the same views of some of the other teammates. So, let us not minimize their efforts.
Now on to those controversies. First let us tackle what I consider the minor controversies. One of the biggest criticisms of the U.S. during the tournament was the 13-0 bludgeoning of the Taiwanese National team in the first game.
A lot of analysts were not happy the U.S. “ran up” the score on Taiwan. Personally, I don’t think it is much of a controversy.
This is not high school soccer where you can put your JV into the game when the score becomes too much. At this level, if you cannot stop a team from scoring, that is on you.
The second controversy came when Alex Morgan scored a goal against England, and, in her celebration, mimicked the sipping of a cup of tea; supposedly a dig at the English.
Being a coach, I have always told my players to be confident, not cocky. Were her actions cocky? Probably so. Would I have said something to her? Most definitely.
As a parent, who may have had a daughter or son watching. This would have been a tremendous teaching moment. However, in the grand scheme of things, as far as I’m concerned a cocky gesture pales in comparison to the other major controversies that tainted the U.S. win; namely those surrounding player Megan Rapinoe.
To say the least, Rapinoe has angered a slew of people here in this country with her words and her actions.
Between kneeling when the flag is raised, to her choice not to put her hand to her heart when the National Anthem is being played, to her controversial statements about President Trump, and her statement that she would not attend a White House ceremony, Rapinoe has made it clear she does not understand the word patriotism.
First, let me just say, I could give a rat’s back end if you do not like Trump and his policies. Nor do I care if you do not want to visit the White House, that is your choice.
Everyone in this country is entitled to their political views and have the right and freedom to speak of those views. That is guaranteed in the Constitution. It is why this is the greatest country on the face of this planet.
Now lets’ talk about honoring the flag (DEEP BREATH). Most persons who do not honor the flag and what it represents, like Rapinoe, do so because they say that they are expressing their First Amendment right to free speech. They consider themselves patriotic because they are fighting the injustices of this country, and they choose to express that in the most disrespectful way possible.
I’m with you on one thing. Let’s fight injustices that exist. I get it. This country is not perfect. We learn from the mistakes of the past, and we move forward, continually making progress so that this the greatest place on Earth to live.
But, hiding behind the First Amendment and using it as an instrument to dishonor those sacrifices made that gave you the very freedoms to express your opinions is not what true patriotism looks like.
There is a line in the movie American President in which the character Andrew Sheppard says “the symbol of your country cannot be just a flag.”
What Rapinoe and similar thinkers like herself fail to realize is that the flag is not just a symbol, IT IS the United States!!!
IT IS the blood, sweat and tears of every American (military and non-military) who sacrificed so much to give us the freedoms that we enjoy today!!!
IT IS the Bill of Rights, the same part of the Constitution that gives Rapinoe and everyone here the voice to dissent. When foreigners see Old Glory, they see America.
Unfortunately, many who live in this country are taught that America is tyranny, and they live their lives with blinders on.
But for those of us who can see with clear vision, we honor that sacrifice by placing our hand on our hearts, facing the flag, and standing for the National Anthem because we understand what the flag is.
As Abraham Lincoln so succinctly put it, “Standing as I do, with my hand upon this staff, and under the folds of the American flag, I ask you to stand by me so long as I stand by it.”

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