USA draws fire for running up score, celebrating: 'I'm disgusted ... there are kids watching'
The American women's national team played their first World Cup game on Tuesday in dominant, historic fashion.
Their 13-0 victory over Thailand was a record margin for the Women's World Cup and cause for elation for the team and its fans. Alex Morgan's individual tally of five goals tied a tournament record.
But as the US team celebrated turning a 3-0 half-time rout into a new standard for dominant play against overwhelmed opponents, some took umbrage with not only the margin — but the players' continued celebration of the goals after the result was no longer in doubt.
'There are kids watching'
Clare Rustad and Kaylyn Kyle, analysts for Canadian sports network TSN and former players for the Canadian women's national team, had some of the strongest rebukes.
"I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn't manage to do that," Rustad said."Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary."
Kyle grabbed the baton from Rustad and ran full bore into "disgusted" territory.
"What is this?" Kyle responded. "They're the No. 1 team in the world. And for me, I'm disgusted, honestly. You're going up against a team that's their first time in the World Cup. They're just happy to be there. ... I'm embarrassed. I was a female professional athlete. There are kids watching this."
Rustad, Kyle weren't alone in criticism
Like with Kyle and Rustad, the score wasn't the primary issue for many critics, but how the players handled themselves and the fact that such a disparate tie was allowed to take place to begin with.
So my son's league has a 7-pt rule where they can't score any more so as to not embarrass the opponent. Adults use this to teach a lesson about sportsmanship, yet people support these double digit celebrations?— rafa (@Used_2_be_Ron) 11 June 2019
That USWNT result did feel gross, but not because the USWNT did anything wrong. It's because FIFA and FAs don't do anything for women's soccer and allow disparities like that to exist.— Kim McCauley (@lgbtqfc) 11 June 2019
The counter argument
Of course, as with most everything involving social media, there were strongly worded takes on the other side, with many questioning if a men's team would receive the same sort of criticism.
For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a men's team to not score or celebrate?— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) 11 June 2019
I get the argument against "running up the score." I also think part of respecting your opponent is to treat them as an equal. Treating them as if they are not worthy of your full effort for 30 minutes seems just as humiliating. #USA#USWNT— Jeremy Lance (@JeremyLance) 11 June 2019
Very annoyed with people's hot takes on the #USWNT win vs Thailand.— whitnasty (@Whit_NotHouston) 11 June 2019
Would we be asking the men's team to ease up? To not celebrate each score?
VERY proud of the ladies for Romina and having fun on an international platform.
Goal differential is in play
And of course, there's the indisputable point that World Cup teams are incentivised to score as many goals as possible with goal difference acting a tiebreaker — though it's an argument that doesn't address the celebrations.
People really out here complaining that the USWNT ran up the score as if goal differential isn't a thing. It's the freakin World Cup.— James Mauro (@JMauro28) 11 June 2019