For better and worse, USWNT achieves ultimate goals

Craig Hall

For clarification, USWNT stands for the United States Women’s National Team, which just won soccer’s World Cup over in France. Gee, another successful U.S. invasion claiming victory on French soil — and to boot, this one resulting from a tweet from President Donald Trump daring the women to win it all. But I digress.

As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, a certain percentage of people on the left will make anything and everything political. And right on cue, a certain group of left-obsessed players on the USWNT made a political mockery out of soccer. Now, I realize this didn’t start overnight. The main soccer star in question began kneeling in solidarity with Colin Keapernick’s misguided (and, as it turns out, after the Betsy Ross flag hubbub, misinforming the world about kneeling against the flag) kneeling as his football career lagged and eventually burned out.

But let’s get back to goals. For the USWNT, the ultimate goal in soccer is to win the World Cup. That’s exactly what the team did. Again. And one star, arguably the biggest, Megan Rapinoe, got to be front and center of attention for all the evils of the United States. Even to the point of arguably tossing the flag aside to pose for the cameras. As all too many things go nowadays, it’s all about the person, not the team. And in the long run, that always hurts the team and what it represents. In this case, the good ol’ U.S. of A.

How do I know this? Let’s use Ms. Rapinoe’s own words and sum it up in one sentence: “I’m not going to the f…ing White House.” Mind you, this is after she publicly called our president a racist and misogynist and added to her little expletive ditty she and her teammates “fighting for equal pay” probably wouldn’t be invited. They were. I’d ask one simple question.
If Hillary were in the White House, would Ms. Rapinoe have said the same things? The answer is obviously no.

Therein lies the problem I have with Ms. Rapinoe: projecting her views onto President Trump, which then projects those views on to all those who voted for and support the president. I fail to see how that brings us closer together as a country and diverse population.

For the record, I think the time-honored tradition of inviting champions to the White House has outlived its usefulness, sense of accomplishment and good feelings. Why? Because it’s been ruined by politics. It’s only a matter of time when the government touches something before it will ruin it. Sports is no different.

That’s not to mean I don’t want the USWNT to be celebrated. I do. The team’s accomplishment is certainly worthy of note, and members should receive all the accolades they deserve. They should also receive all of the criticism they deserve for allowing Ms. Rapinoe to hijack what should be a feel-good moment for all of America.

Once again, let’s use Ms. Rapinoe’s own words to delve further into this mire. Let’s tackle the equal pay myth. First off, federal law requires equal pay for the same job no matter if a man or woman is doing it (let’s leave alone the fact it’s written for two sexes ). President Barack Obama went as far as doubling down by adding a law that basically said the same thing. Yet, women soccer players claim they’re being discriminated against on equal pay. Well, they aren’t. Women soccer stars in the United States make the same as the top men’s soccer stars. Others make less, same as the men. A further look into this muck shows they’re not governed by anyone in the U.S., but rather FIFA, the world-governing body of soccer. Their beef is with FIFA, their employer, and economics.

The women’s World Cup brings in significantly less money than the men’s. That’s a fact. However, the women get a higher percentage of total revenues than the men get, while the rulers keep most of the money on both. So much for world order. But let’s use another idea of Ms. Rapinoe’s to further her argument in a good way.

Ms. Rapinoe has suggested the women of world soccer break away from FIFA and form their own federation. She’s dead on. But that won’t settle the income problem, because money in is money in. I’ll go one further and tell the USWNT to go completely private, because no other country in the world has the means to fund a national team the way the America does. As soccer teams are loved in this country, the women have it all over the men. But that would require breaking the Martha Burke mode of destroying Augusta instead of creating a better women’s version. All women can indeed be all better.

Ms. Rapinoe would do well to stop blaming all the ills of society on one side and actually reach out to all Americans with her ideas. She might be shocked to find out almost all of us want equal rights, no one being shot in the streets as well as being surprised on the actual facts on some of her complaints.

Then we can have a real talk about oppression, freedom and making things better.