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Hackett: Despite Controversy, US Women Conquer The World

YON, FRANCE - JULY 07: Megan Rapinoe of the USA lifts the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy following her team's victory in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon on July 07, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Let’s make one thing known, I am not American, but that does not change my admiration for what the US Women’s National Team and their accomplishments during this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The controversies and struggles the team went through eventuated in the highest of highs.

They are arguably the best women’s soccer team of all time. They captivated a nation in a fashion that has never been seen before.

National Anthem Silence

Megan Rapinoe has been in the headlines for years now. She has refused to sing the National Anthem.

In a 2016 interview with the Associated Press she called the gestures a “little nod to Colin Kaepernick” and “very intentional”.

President Donald Trump chimed in on Twitter, stating that “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS!”

It is fair to say Rapinoe responded when she took home the Golden Ball, as the “Best Player in the World Cup,” and the Golden Boot as the tournament’s leading goal scorer.

She is also the first woman to start in three World Cup Finals.

Sip Your Tea, Alex Morgan

More controversy came when star striker Alex Morgan celebrated her 31st-minute goal against England in the Semi-Finals with a tea-sipping celebration, mocking the English and their tea-sipping habit.

After the game, Morgan spoke about the celebration.

“When I look at sipping a cup of tea, I’m a little taken aback and kind of, you have to laugh about it to see all of the criticism.”

Equal Pay

Before the tournament had even started, a gender discrimination lawsuit was filed, demanding equal pay to their male counterparts.

The Wall Street Journal reported that from 2016 to 2018, the US Women’s National Team generated $50.8 million in revenue, compared with $49.9 million for men’s games.

The US Women’s National Team just won their fourth FIFA World Cup, whereas the men recently failed to beat Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, a regional tournament, and failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup held in Russia.

Rapinoe spoke on the matter shortly after the 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the World Cup Final.

“All players, I’m saying every player at this World Cup, put on the most incredible show that you could ever ask for. We can’t do anything more to impress, to be better ambassadors, to take on more, to play better, to do anything. It’s time to move that conversation forward to the next step,” said Rapinoe

The conversation surrounding equal pay is contentious and disputed, but one thing is for certain, the women are more successful than the men in the game of soccer.

They sell more jersey’s than the men, in fact, “The United States women’s national team’s jersey is now the best-selling soccer jersey ever on Nike.com, outpacing all men’s jerseys,” Nike CEO Mark Parker said.

Nike debuted a commercial shortly after the 2-0 win over the Netherlands, helping America celebrate and respect the achievement.

The Triumph

What the USWNT was able to accomplish is nothing short of amazing – to be champions of the world, for the fourth time.

It was a magnificent performance that gave millions of young women hope that one day they could be on the biggest stage, in front of the brightest lights with the whole world watching their every move.

It seemed, that despite the controversy surrounding the team at times during the tournament, they responded with vigor and poise.

They did not take a backward step, instead, they attacked the controversy and used it to their advantage. They were brave and silenced their doubters.

They created a movement in women’s sport that we have rarely seen before.

Go and celebrate this win, ladies. You deserve it.