Fox Sports claimed the World Cup soccer champion American team lifted the nation and a gender. The progressive sports blog SB Nation calls U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe "love" and "a godlike figure." One courageous sports writer isn't drinking that Kool-Aid though. Phil Mushnick, columnist for the New York Post, disputes those claims, says the American team invited scorn and calls Rapinoe a "a foul-mouthed stage hog."
SB Nation's Zito Madu says Rapinoe (showboating in the photo above) "cuts a wonderful figure to her fans." Along with: "It seems inevitable that Rapinoe will become a hero and a godlike figure."
Fox’s lead World Cup soccer analyst Aly Wagner was just as caught up in the mania:
“'The way they’ve lifted a nation! The way they’ve lifted a gender! It’s something to behold! … They’ve done so much more and against all odds!”
By contrast, Mushnick bucks the heroine worship surrounding media coverage of the World Cup champs. He says the team is not the feel-good story we're told they are.:
"But the risk of being condemned as a killjoy makes me defensive. 'Our” team won, didn’t it? That’s what counts! USA! USA!'
"It’s a relentless insult: TV demands intelligent viewers ignore what they see to believe only what they’re told."
"This US team did nothing to advance 'the gender,' did not succeed 'against all odds' and, because many Americans found it impossible to embrace Team USA, did little to 'lift the nation.'”
Mushnick scoffs at the against-all-odds assertion because the U.S. was the overwhelming to win the World Cup. "They lifted a gender? It was the Women’s World Cup!" for crying outloud.
The Post writer further took to task Wagner's ridiculous boast that the team lifted a nation: "How so? Was Wagner unaware that this team invited scorn, turning off so many who would have normally and naturally fully supported it? Could Wagner have been unaware that 'we' were represented by those wearing Team USA uniforms while performing acts of choreographed immodesty and mockery of opponents?"
Or, he asks, was "Wagner under the impression Americans can’t distinguish right from wrong, and thus provided blind, drooling, unconditional love?"
The team should have reined in Rapinoe, too, Mushnick writes. She of the "all-about-me diva pose" whose on-field demonstrations were "nauseating." "But Rapinoe, a foul-mouthed stage hog who gave the national anthem her kiss-off in protest of President Tweet — as if it were her duty to exploit US World Cup matches for that purpose — is the captain!
"Small wonder those champs at Nike gave Colin Kaepernick the week off to anoint Rapinoe the commercial face of the victorious US team."
Mushnick is in a tiny minority of sports media who refuse to champion social justice and political correctness. In the past he's criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for allowing Kaepernick to "game" the league, accused LeBron James of bigotry against Jews and criticized Long Island University-Brooklyn for disposing of its Blackbirds nickname because of perceived racist undertones.