OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) drew the ire of millions of Americans for the team’s behavior ahead of an opening match against Vietnam on Friday.
Most of the U.S. team stood silently and stared straight ahead as the National Anthem played in New Zealand’s Eden Park Arena, while only five of the 11 starters put their hands over their hearts, according to a video clip posted online.
Just three of the players — Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher and Lindsey Horan — were the only ones who sang the anthem’s lyrics.
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM PLAYS AT THE 2023 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP FOR THE FIRST TIME 🙌 pic.twitter.com/czqIXr5zBT
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 22, 2023
The U.S. defeated Vietnam 3 – 0, but the pregame actions of most of the players are what drew much of the attention — and all of the ire — online.
“Just another reason not to watch women’s soccer. Besides the fact that it’s boring, they can’t beat a high school team ..they expect the same amount of money as the men yet don’t bring in the same revenue, have equal talent or deliver the same quality football,” a Twitter user said.
“These spoiled a$$ athletes need to be reminded they don’t play for the name on the back of the jersey. They play for the name on the front of it. And if they hate our country so much, go play somewhere else. You won’t be missed,” another said.
“Americans are being trained to hate their country. These angry women are representing a country they despise at the World Cup. Our schools are failing…,” another Twitter user said.
“If these players don’t love the country they are representing, they should not be on the team. As an ex athlete, I always loved who I represented. It is an insult to every American to behave in such a disrespectful manner,” another said.
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, known for her far-left, anti-American views, made waves last week during an interview with Time, claiming that women’s sports were being “weaponized” by people who stand against transgender women competing against biological women.
She told the outlet it was “total bulls**t” and asked someone to “show me all the trans people who are nefariously taking advantage of being trans in sports. It’s just not happening.”
Meanwhile, former champion gymnast Jennifer Sey clapped back at Rapinoe’s remarks during an interview with Fox News.
“I guess I would ask her why in  when the best women’s soccer team in the world lost to 15-year-old high school boys, how – why was that? How did that happen?” she said. “An average high school boys’ team. They lost – the best women’s soccer team in the world… There is advantage. This is not trans bigotry. This is about girls and women.”
“We have to acknowledge that biology, testosterone in and of itself, but also having going through male puberty confers advantages. That’s why we have separate categories of men’s and women’s sports. Denying that is denying reality,” Sey told Fox.
“So, I am very much in favor of protecting women’s sports and giving women a fair and even playing field to compete against each other, access the educational opportunities that come from that,” she went on.
“And I think if we don’t stand up now and defend women’s spaces, essentially what we’re agreeing to is there is no difference. Men do not have physical advantages, and there will be no gender categories in sports if we don’t say no to it now. There will be no categories,” the former gymnast continued.
“The companies that do would argue it’s about inclusion, but what people are rejecting is not the idea of inclusion. They’re rejecting an underlying ideology which states that men can be women and that there is no such thing as biology,” she said.
“These companies have taken these stances to curry favor with consumers. And what they’ve learned very quickly is there’s a large portion of consumers that are saying, ‘Yeah, no. I don’t believe in that. I’m gonna take my business elsewhere,'” she noted further.