It is really hard to argue with Lalas’ assessment. In the past few years, the USWNT has become less of a symbol of sports, and more of a symbol of radical leftist politics. One need look no further than the most recognizable player on the team, Megan Rapinoe, who has made a name for herself not for her soccer skills, but for her woke political activism. When ESPN paid tribute to the polarizing player in the aftermath of Sunday’s humiliating defeat, they got a rather hostile reception from the public, who wanted nothing to do with celebrating her activism. Lest we forget, it was Rapinoe who allegedly coerced the team into kneeling during the national anthem as a leftist protest gesture. So Lalas is absolutely right. When the team is defined not by its on-field performance but by the divisive off-field activities of its players, there are going to be a lot of people who will cheer when the team does poorly. If the team was more pro-American and patriotic, this is the U.S. national team after all, maybe more people would have sympathy for them. But they seem less interested in representing America, and more interested in representing themselves. In the past, the USWNT could get past all of the controversy surrounding its politics because it was a winning team that swept the world. Two consecutive World Cup titles made it the best women’s national team in history. Unfortunately, the days of glory for the USWNT are gone, at least for now, and it seems as if they can only define themselves now by their left-wing politics. In this case, therefore, it should come as no surprise that the team has become, as Lalas put it “irrelevant.” If the team wants to rally more support from the American public, they should take Lalas’ message to heart and try to recapture what it is that people used to love about it before it went woke. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Don’t kill the messenger. This #USWNT is polarizing. Politics, causes, stances, & behavior have made this team unlikeable to a portion of America. This team has built its brand and has derived its power from being the best/winning. If that goes away they risk becoming irrelevant. https://t.co/J5yFxOuBet— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) August 6, 2023