Polarization in the United States continues to fester across the nation in the sports arena. The World Cup is historically a celebration of athletes from across the globe. Their competition within each sport is meant to emphasize the unity of their origins, home. Their ability to stand strong and defend their homeland in the realm of sports achievement is the goal. Surely, not an easy endeavor. Most of us cannot even imagine the diligence and dedication to achievement athletes make within their lifetimes. The support of the homeland has always been a given.
Well, not in The United States of America.
The United States Women’s National Team ( USWNT) recently exited the world stage with a loss to Sweden for penalty kicks in the World Cup of Soccer. Initially, the United States Team was favored to win its third consecutive world title. It was a devastating and surprising loss for the team, its supporters, and our nation. Or, so one would think…
Our nation is so spun upside down that many have actually verbalized their happiness at our global loss. Is this shocking in our Post-Trump era?
Not only has the team been taking daggers from their homeland many are directed to Megan Rapinone, the soccer superstar and social activist for reproductive and transgender rights. Political, sexual, and personal rights of choice have historically been controversial. Attacking the sports arena with mud after a devastating defeat is simply beyond low. It also shows clearly to the world the character of our conservative leaders.
And, it is all about character.
Rapinoe’s progressive politics are the voice of our nation. The soccer venue just gave it all a shout-out. People across the globe are shouting out for individual rights of life/living and just not being heard. She made the volume rise. The Global Forum, in awe, took notice, and so did its people.
Conservative media showed its lack of character clearly on X - formerly Twitter with rhetoric against LGBTQA+ and self-expression. Echoing dirt from former president Trump, “Woke”, and “Anti-American” were terms of choice. “Many of our players were openly hostile to America – No other country behaved in such a manner, or even close,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Sunday. “WOKE EQUALS FAILURE. Nice shot, Megan, the U.S. is going to Hell!!! MAGA.”
Megan Kelly on “The Megyn Kelly Show” that she was “thrilled” the U.S. team lost. “I’m glad you went down. You don’t support America. I don’t support you. And I know I’m not alone.”
She probably is not alone and that is the point. Sexual orientation is being harassed here. The world stage sees the hate of our people, in our homeland and relates it to winning at The World Cup. How skewed is that? Maybe it's just me.
I believe the character and support of our representatives in athletics more than deserve support for the role they play in our global forum. I believe in respect for all people, even when I do not understand them.
That is the definition of character, judgment set aside.
Megan Rapinone has character and represents many with grace.
We are still a “free” country, and the right to free speech reigns.
Interestingly enough, the name "Megan" comes from a diminutive of Margaret from the Greek "margarites" meaning pearl. Its Greek orientation means "great" or "mighty".
Kelly and Rapinone share the same name. Rapinone the pearl, the other still in the Oyster?