Hats off to the 2019 U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for pulling off another amazing World Cup Championship! The hard work, intense dedication, powerful skills, outstanding teamwork, and tremendous coaching was inspiring to watch. Equally inspiring as the phenomenal field play was the internal strength and tenacity shown off the field by individual players and the group as a whole.
In a world where females can be jealous, catty, and mean to one another, this team had one another’s backs. When people attempted to shame Megan Rapinoe for celebrating her goal, rather than shrinking, apologizing or not celebrating her next one, she doubled down. She celebrated in exactly the same way as she had after the first goal. Alex Morgan was lambasted for sipping tea in celebration of her goal and she, too, refused to back down, shrink or apologize. In a world where many women apologize for practically everything, it was incredibly refreshing to see two women on the world stage do nothing of the sort. Hats off to Megan and Alex for holding their ground in the face of tremendous vitriol.
Additional backlash came from a comment Rapinoe made back in January when she was asked if she was excited at the prospect of visiting the White House if her team should win the World Cup. Rapinoe’s response was fast and without hesitation, “Psssh, I’m not going to the f*****g White House. No. I’m not going to the White House. We’re not gonna be invited. I doubt it.” As the World Cup win became more and more likely, this statement set off a flurry of backlash—starting with the President of the United States. Not surprisingly, his response came in the form of tweets. “Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team,” he tweeted. He also tweeted, “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” This past week, Megan and the U.S. team did exactly that—they finished the job. The U.S. Women’s National Team won their fourth World Cup victory.
In response to the President’s tweets and the world’s backlash, Megan Rapinoe stood her ground. Megan, with a Grounded Powerful Strength, stated, “I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive.” My mom would be very upset about that.” Once again, rather than shrinking, apologizing or changing her statement, Rapinoe showed the women of the world what it looks like to simply own your power. And the women of her team supported her. Rapinoe’s teammate, Ali Krieger, in response to Trump’s tweet, tweeted, “In regards to the ‘President’s’ tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.”
The tenacity, strength and sheer willingness of this team to speak their truth, and to own their power is a welcome change for women. When one woman stands her ground, speaks her truth and owns her power, it changes her life. When ten women and then a hundred women and then thousands of women do this day in and day out, it changes the world for women. We are watching the power of this ripple play out throughout the world right now. People from every country are engaging in dialogue about equal pay for men and women as a result of the USWNT’s situation and fight for more pay. Thank you to the U.S. Women’s National Team for modeling how this is done—particularly in the face of hate, contempt and intense judgments thrown your way.
Challenge: To all the females, young and old, challenge yourself to find the courage to stand your ground with a Grounded Powerful Strength on the most important issues in your life. Don’t back down to hate, contempt or the negative judgments of others. Stop the excessive apologizing and instead standby your beliefs. To the men, stand up for the women in the world when you see others treating them poorly. When you stand back and watch it happening, you are complicit in its occurrence. Don’t be complicit.
Note: As of the writing of this post, the U.S. Women’s World Cup Championship team has received many invitations to various places including the House of Representatives and the U.S. Capital. They have yet to receive an invitation to the White House. For some reason, I don’t believe they are at all sad about this omission.