Sports

We All Wanted to Love the Women’s Soccer Team

United States women’s soccer team players Megan Rapinoe (left), Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd stand during the national anthem at a ceremony at City Hall in New York City, July 10, 2019. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
But the team, led by foul-mouthed Megan Rapinoe, disgraced itself.

For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. And if those who called in to my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice.

It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an American team. But Megan Rapinoe, the foul-mouthed star of the team, and her fellow players made it possible.

The U.S. women’s team disgraced itself. Either its members were cowed into submission by Rapinoe or they agreed (or, at least, never disagreed) with her attacks on the president, her reference to the White House as the “f—ing White House,” her refusal since 2016 to participate in the national anthem, and her repeatedly shouting during the team’s parade in New York City, “New York, you’re the motherf—ing best!”

For example, Rapinoe said, “Every member of the team that I have talked to would not go” to the White House.

Rapinoe is a great soccer player. Other than that, she is unimpressive. She comes across as arrogant, a fool, and a lowlife.

Why a fool? Because she thinks she has something important to say to the American people and that we need to hear it because she is a great soccer player. She is not alone in this conceit. Tom Steyer and other billionaires think the same thing about themselves: that because they are better at making money than almost everybody, they must be wiser than almost everybody.

People who excel in one thing are tempted to think they are smart about everything, but that is almost never the case. There is no reason at all to assume that people who excel in anything (other than wisdom) are wiser than anybody else. And here’s the kicker (no pun intended): People who think they are wise because they excel at something unrelated to wisdom are fools.

And why is Rapinoe a lowlife? What would you label any adult who constantly used the F-word in public (especially during events when children are expected to be present or watching)? Or does being a star — like the foul-mouthed Robert De Niro — make you less of a lowlife?

The American women’s soccer team is unified in protesting on behalf of “equal pay for equal work.” They regard their team as a perfect example because its members receive less money than members of the U.S. men’s soccer team — despite the fact that the women have a much better record.

But there is a reason the male players earn more. Among other things — such as the women’s team’s vote for financial security in the form of guaranteed salaries rather than revenue share — men’s soccer generates far more money than women’s soccer.

According to the Los Angeles Times: FIFA’s “2018 financial report said it earned revenue of $5.357 billion from the men’s tournament in Russia. … Forbes estimated the Women’s World Cup will generate about $131 million for the four-year cycle ending in 2022.”

So, unless people should be paid according to gender (which they now are in Norway) rather than according to revenue and profits, male soccer players will earn more money than female soccer players.

There are only two ways to equitably ensure male and female players earn the same amount of money. One is to pool all the money earned by both teams and then distribute an equal amount to all the players, men and women. The other is to end sex-based teams: Men and women compete to play on one team (composed of both men and women), and any woman who makes the team is guaranteed the same income as any man on the team.

Until then, the women’s soccer team and the Left want to have their cake and eat it, too. (Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for example, tweeted this non sequitur: “Here’s an idea: If you win 13-0 — the most goals for a single game in World Cup history — you should be paid at least equally to the men’s team.”) They want women to have their own soccer teams — because biology has made it impossible for almost any woman to successfully compete with men in sports — yet earn the same amount as men do. But the reality is more people will watch men play soccer, just as more people watch major-league baseball than minor-league baseball — which is why major-league baseball players earn more money than minor-league players do. But if we applied the equal-pay-for-equal-work principle to baseball, minor-league and major-league players would be paid the same amount.

With their politicization of their victory, their expletive-filled speech, and their publicly expressed contempt for half their fellow citizens, the women of the U.S. women’s soccer team succeeded in endearing themselves to America’s Left. But they earned the rest of the country’s disdain, which is sad. We really wanted to love the team.

What we have here is yet another example of perhaps the most important fact in the contemporary world: Everything the Left touches it ruins.

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His second volume of Bible commentary, The Rational Bible — Genesis: God, Creation, Destruction, is published by Regnery.  He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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