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USWNT vs. Vietnam: Notice the Major Difference Between the Two National Anthems?

Friday’s grand kickoff to the 2023 Women’s World Cup went the way it normally does for the U.S. women’s national soccer team. The American women showed up, dominated, won convincingly — and sparked another national anthem controversy. In what is becoming a noticeably common trend with the world’s best women’s soccer team, the actual results of the game have become almost secondary. And while that’s partially due to how overwhelmingly dominant the team is, it’s also partially because the team has made a habit of entangling itself in national anthem controversies, ร  la former NFL star Colin Kaepernick. Now, to be completely fair, this latest controversy is a far cry from a protest. Every lady representing the United States was standing at attention for the ceremonial playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the World Cup game against Vietnam. The controversy arose because they literally didn’t do much else. And that was a noticeably stark juxtaposition to the women representing Vietnam. Many viewers, including those at Fox News and the New York Post, couldn’t help but notice that while nearly the entire Vietnamese women’s team was singing along with the country’s national anthem (“Tiแบฟn Quรขn Ca,” or “Song of a Marching Army”) with hands over their hearts, most of the American team just sort of stood there. It was business as usual for the U.S. women, and, again, there’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself — but just because there’s nothing wrong with it doesn’t mean it didn’t stick out like a badly missed tackle. Take a look for yourself at some of these more muted responses to “The Star-Spangled Banner” playing: It was a totally fine response that probably wouldn’t have gotten a second thought had every last member of the team across the field not been proudly singing with hands held over their hearts. In fact, most national anthem introductions at the women’s World Cup thus far have been far more like Vietnam’s than America’s. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the USWNT’s thorny history with the national anthem isn’t helping matters, as it puts everything they do — or don’t do, in this case — under a far more scrutinizing microscope. As recently as 2020, the USWNT thumbed their collective noses at “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a form of protest over pay disparity issues. While nobody knelt for the anthem in that instance, the players did intentionally obscure any reference to America that might have been on their uniform. On top of that, controversial USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, who is appearing in her final World Cup as she’s set to retire soon, has always been a lightning rod for criticism due to her vocal championing of far-left causes. As to the game itself, the USWNT annihilated the opposition, beating Vietnam to the tune of 3-0. The USWNT, heavily favored to win it all this year, will next play on Wednesday against the Netherlands. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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