Fans of the US women’s national soccer team are elated. The American players won their fourth World Cup today, beating the Netherlands 2-0 and holding on to their title as champions.
Congratulations from all corners rolled in quickly, in various forms. Google made a victory doodle for the players. Nike immediately released a one-minute ad celebrating the win. And former US president Barack Obama promptly tweeted his congratulations to the team.
However, the current president, Donald Trump, who had been sparring with team co-captain Megan Rapinoe on social media, took some time to congratulate the American champions. Rapinoe said she wouldn’t go to the White House if Trump invited the team because he opposes much of what she is and stands for. Trump responded by saying she should not talk until she wins. Now that she and her teammates have done just that—and Rapinoe scored one of the game’s two winning goals—it seemed she might be the only person capable of silencing the usually feisty @realDonaldTrump, who was unusually mum this Sunday. But Trump did eventually, hours after the win, chime in.
Fans of the women’s team are still smarting over Trump’s earlier treatment of Rapinoe. In Lyon, France, a Fox News broadcast from a sports bar just after the game showed correspondent Greg Palkot struggling to speak over a bartender, who began shouting, “Fuck Trump!” The rest of the patrons took up the chant, while Palkot said of the day’s events, “It’s been a crazy time.”
There were other chants that broke out after the win. The US women’s team is currently in mediation in efforts to settle a lawsuit with the national league over pay inequality. Though the men’s team has never won a World Cup and viewership of women’s games has been on the rise, the female players make less than half of what their less successful male counterparts earn. Fans shouted “equal pay!” in the stadium after the US team took the win. There have only been eight women’s World Cup championships, and the US team has won half of them, which is certainly a strong argument for at least equal, if not better, pay.
Democratic presidential candidates tried to capitalize on the world’s love of the American women’s team. Marianne Williamson immediately tweeted her support for the players, as did Amy Klobuchar (whose photos proved she watched the match), Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren—only Tulsi Gabbard appears not to have reacted to the victory among the female candidates. Similarly, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, Julian Castro, and Cory Booker also noted their support for the team, saying they make Americans proud and are an inspiration, both on and off the field.
Bill de Blasio, New York’s mayor and another presidential hopeful, announced a ticker tape parade for the team to be held on July 10. It’s an invitation they are much more likely to accept than one to the White House from the US president.