Politics and Sports, or, an Appreciation of the Women's World Cup
July 8, 2019 11:42 AM   Subscribe

While sports can be fun, sports can also be politics by another means. As you may have heard, the US won the Women’s World Cup yesterday (YT highlights), against the Netherlands by a score of 2-0. Kim McCauley argues that the USWNT’s queerness matters as everyday pride. Sally Jenkins says the USWNT "is after something far more subversive than just better pay". Stephanie Yang explores how the Women's World Cup helps queer fans find community. Franklin Foer has called star Megan Rapinoe the "new Muhammed Ali" for her outspoken commitment to social justice.

You may also have heard about Rapinoe’s statement "I’m not going to the fucking White House" if the team won (and Trump’s feud), or English media collectively deciding to build a narrative that the US was “arrogant.” These have their own politics as well.

Bonus: A beautiful article by Gwen Oxenham on Rapinoe's relationship with her incarcerated brother.
posted by migrantology (18 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love lesbians <3
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:25 PM on July 8, 2019 [6 favorites]


Her instagram today quoted Nispey Hussles Hussle & Motivate: “Ain’t really trip on the credit, I just paid all of my dues. I just respected the game, now my name all in the news"
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:29 PM on July 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


Worked for me, but took a while to load.
posted by SoundInhabitant at 12:31 PM on July 8, 2019


After the win in 2015, Kelley O'Hara was asked if lesbians were accepted in the locker room. The video's gone to bitrot, but from what I remember, she basically laughed off the question and said 'of course, there are no problems there'.

Here's hoping you don't have to laugh off anything this time around, KO.
posted by suckerpunch at 2:48 PM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


I love Rapinoe, but the comparison to Ali is super cringeworthy. Karen Attiah of the WaPo sums it up in this tweet and in this article by Kevin Blackistone point out why.
posted by TwoStride at 3:15 PM on July 8, 2019 [5 favorites]


Yeah I am extremely excited about all the lesbians but Franklin Foer is an embarrassing dumbass.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:39 PM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


That said: the Sally Jenkins WaPo article is onto something.

I love the USWNT, and I’m so pissed NYC doesn’t have a NWSL team.

...How much $ do you need to start a professional women’s soccer team? There’s gotta be at least one rich person we can convince
posted by schadenfrau at 4:49 PM on July 8, 2019


I love the USWNT, and I’m so pissed NYC doesn’t have a NWSL team.

The Sky Blue FC plays in Piscataway, at least? I mean, there's a fine tradition of NYC teams playing in NJ.

There are none at all in New England, harumph.
posted by damayanti at 4:54 PM on July 8, 2019


There are none at all in New England, harumph.
RIP Boston Breakers, dammit.
posted by TwoStride at 5:01 PM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


And I'd like to point out that Rose freakin' Lavelle played for the Breakers at the end.
posted by TwoStride at 5:02 PM on July 8, 2019


The Sky Blue FC plays in Piscataway, at least?

That’s like...an hour away by car, which none of us have. It might as well be on Saturn.

What is the point of having so many rich people if not ONE of them will find a way to turn the Barclays center into a football pitch
posted by schadenfrau at 7:34 PM on July 8, 2019


What is the point of having so many rich people if not ONE of them will find a way to turn the Barclays center into a football pitch

No one got (or stayed) rich by writing checks.

With Budweiser coming on board and ESPN+ picking up the TV rights, things should change. But to say "why isn't some rich person setting fire to their money??" isn't productive.

Also, the NWSL will need to step it up soon because the only reason any of these women still play in the US professionally is because Europe hasn't given a shit about women's soccer/football until very very recently.
posted by sideshow at 8:06 PM on July 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


A tweet I saw from @drhonor

From now on it's just called "Soccer" and "Men's Soccer", right?
posted by blob at 9:13 PM on July 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


The Minimum Pro Female Soccer Salary Is Below the Poverty Line
Compared to the major male sports leagues, the women are making nothing. As in, other sports spend more on equipment than the total salaries for a WPSL team.
posted by blob at 9:24 PM on July 8, 2019 [3 favorites]


As in, other sports spend more on equipment than the total salaries for a WPSL team.

Since the WPSL in an amateur league and everyone makes $0 combined, that’s not a bit surprising.
posted by sideshow at 9:43 PM on July 8, 2019


I’m not a huge sporting fan, but the World Cup has been fun to watch aside from some of the lopsided early games. Over billion tv viewers for the finals should bring more money, which will hopefully get more pro leagues started in Europe and elsewhere.

When more teams are even handed then comparisons to men’s football should hopefully subside. It will be slightly different speed and whatever, but the skilled play is what makes it joy to watch. US team has played together a lot and some of their plays are quite elaborate and most national teams on men’s side would not try those.

I had a chance to take my 3 boys to the final match on Sunday. This was by chance as we had vacation in the Alps and were able to get tickets at the last minute upon realizing that they played in Lyon. My kids 9 - 13 certainly had great time and didn’t think that it was a lesser event (compared to men’s), at the same time they do realize that because of preferences of society at large we were able to afford tickets and almost stumble upon the match.

Game was quite even for the first half and Holland had few good chances at the end of the first half. As a Finnish American it was odd to be on the side of the team most likely to win. Audience was clearly more female than any sporting event I’ve been to, and there were some rainbow flags here and there. Also, it’s amazing how French were able to empty stadium in very orderly relaxed fashion so quickly. It took us less than half an hour to get from our seats to offsite parking about 5 miles away and onto highway. And it involved no yelling by security or law enforcement even though presence was visible.
posted by zeikka at 3:12 AM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


No one got (or stayed) rich by writing checks.

Sure, if you don’t count anyone who’s ever written a check to a business that was losing money because they saw a time in the future when it would be making money. You know, like every other person who’s stood up a professional sports league.
posted by Etrigan at 5:04 AM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


I used to be a NY Red Bulls season ticket holder and am still a fan, there has been some mumbles amongst the fanbase that the franchise should look to absorb Sky Blue FC and host their matches at Red Bull Arena which, aside from being a great facility, is accessible* via PATH train.

*such as it is.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:56 AM on July 9, 2019


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