As the U.S. women’s soccer team was earning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Donald Trump was reaching for relevance when he claimed that “everything that is woke goes bad,” which includes “our soccer team.”
Trump tried to claim that the team would have earned gold if not for the alt-fact that they are a “woke” group of “radical Leftist-Maniacs.” He tried to re-engage Megan Rapinoe by refusing to say her name, instead calling her the “woman with the purple hair,” and accused her of playing badly.
Trump again is the self-appointed expert on everything, but was dead wrong.
But here’s the thing: The U.S. women’s national soccer team, and women’s soccer at large, consistently models sportsmanship at its most progressive and powerful. The players’ political engagement is a strength, not a weakness.
When the U.S. team lost to Sweden in the opening round of the Tokyo games, they ended a 44-game winning streak. But in 2019, they won the World Cup all while kneeling for racial justice, suing their ownership for equal pay and sexist discrimination, and protesting their owners on the field.
So much for the “woke” distraction causing defeat.
It should be clear to anyone paying attention that progressive politics have no causal relationship with losing. It also hasn’t negatively impacted their popularity: They’ve shattered records for viewership and merchandise sales. They are not the opposite of “Patriots,” which Trump claimed. They are the very definition of it.
Read this entire opinion at NBC News.