Why is celebrating goals unfeminine?
There was a huge uproar after the USWNT’s 13-0 win against Thailand during the last World Cup. People were upset at the score line, the US players celebrating scoring goals or both. The prevailing sentiment was that it was unbecoming to “run up the score.”
Did the USWNT run up the score?
Yes, the USWNT scored a lot of goals. But that does not mean it was unsportsmanlike. You can argue it is piling on to keep scoring after 5 or 6 goals and that might make sense if there were points given for sparing feelings.
The ethos of sports is to try as hard as you can. It would also have been very boring to watch them do nothing but passing the ball back and forth for the vast majority of the game. Not to mention how disrespectful the Thai team to ease up, who by the way did not think it was an issue. Which makes perfect sense given that they defeated Indonesia by the same 13-0 scoreline on 5.27.18 and Cambodia 11-0 on 7.04.18.
Did the USWNT celebrate the World Cup goals too much?
Let’s look at it objectively. Scoring in a Work Cup is rare. The scoring leader for the entire tournament scored 6 goals total - for the entire tournament. The runners up for the entire competition, who played the same number of games as the USWNT, scored 13 goals. The World Cup happens once every 4 years. It is the pinnacle of a soccer players career. They work their entire lives to achieve this one accomplishment. Three players scored their very first World Cup goals. So, YES, they should absolutely celebrate goals!
Is the criticism warrented?
Unsurprisingly criticism is being directed by people who want to maintain double standards for women vs men. As Jemele Hill of the Atlantic noted, the focus was on how female athletes behave, not on what they’ve achieved. The behavior police include fellow athletes, such as Roger Rederer who claimed Serena Williams “went to far” after the 2018 US Open final. But when he cusses and yells at official, it’s portrayed as showing how much they care about the game. The media is also guilty of the this double standard. During the 2009 US Open Federer was fined $1,500 for cussing out the umpire. At the same tournament Williams was fined $10,000 for berating a line judge. An article in The Telegraph characterized the outburst as a competitive turning point.
People also took exception with how the players celebrated. There is no difference in how USWNT celebrated vs how Germany celebrated vs Brasil during the 2018 Men’s World Cup. Yet they didn’t receive any criticism.
Do we want to decide who wins by style points and how nice each team was to their opponent or by the scoreboard? If we are going to level the playing field, we have decide winners who scores the most goals. Let’s celebrate accomplishing our goals!
1 - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/usopen/6192026/US-Open-2009-Roger-Federers-Hawk-Eye-rant-a-turning-point-at-Flushing-Meadows-final.html