If you followed the Women’s World Cup, you will probably agree that it did more for women’s sports than anything else ever has. However, the tournament wasn’t without its controversy. Games were won and lost on account of the Video Assisted Referee, (VAR). But for me, the biggest controversy occurred when US player Alex Morgan made a ‘tea sipping’ gesture after she scored the winning goal against England in the semi final.
Alex Morgan sipping tea
I first learned about this when reading the column in the UK newspaper The Sun from a man named Rod Liddle. In his article, he called the gesture ‘offensive’ because it was a dig at the cultural stereotype that all English people drink tea. He went on further to ask, “How would Americans have liked it if when England scored their goal, the scorer made a gesture imitating a school shooting?” Now that I’ve stopped laughing at that question, I think that most people would agree that drinking tea is not the cultural equivalent of a school shooting. If Morgan had made a gesture simulating a stabbing, then Liddle’s point would be correct. Especially since fatal stabbings have increased in UK cities, especially London, at an alarming rate in the past few years. If the England scorer had made a gesture imitating eating a big mac, that would have been a cultural equivalent. I mean, all the world believes the stereotype that all Americans eat only McDonald’s.
Like so many UK newspaper columnists, Rod Liddle knows he can get readers by bashing Americans. Before I go into detail, I will point out that he bashed women’s soccer in the same column two weeks earlier. He said that he could field a team consisting of old men and the late Stephen Hawking and beat any women’s team. I’d like to see that. Rod, get a team together and play the England women’s team. Hell, you said any man so I will volunteer to play for you. I’m only 58 and recovering from a knee injury.
Sexist attitudes aside, Rod Liddle is one of those small but certainly noticeable minority of British people who I have come to dislike in the thirty-three years I have lived in the UK. These are the ones who can take offense better than any American I’ve ever met and I’ve met quite a few of those who could. They are the ones who will start trouble with someone in a pub because they perceived that person to have looked at them in the wrong way. Of course, they travel in numbers so they’re mates will back them up. But there’s more to that. These same British people, like Rod Liddle, are the ones who love to dish it out but can’t take it themselves. Rod has written several articles in the past bashing American culture. In such articles, he had asked why all Americans are so fat and why they all shoot each other and then there’s the tiresome one about the World Series. To Rod or anyone else, I wrote a post nearly two years ago on why it’s called the World Series if you want to read about it. Knowing him, he won’t and continue to bash Americans according to stereotype. Now, that one American has made a gesture about an English stereotype, he cries foul. It seems that he loves to dish it out but can’t take it. I will say he’s not the only person to be like this. To be clear, while I don’t think Alex Morgan’s tea sipping gesture was offensive, I will say that it was a show of poor sportsmanship.
Tomorrow, I’m off for two weeks in my birth country, the US and I have no intention of eating at McDonald’s. I’d rather go to the International House of Pancakes, (IHOP). Of course, I will be eating Cap’n Crunch cereal for breakfast and looking forward to seeing my favourite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers play my local team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
The LA Dodgers
The Phillies celebrate World Series glory in 2008.
You won’t have to read any of my crap for two weeks but I promise you, I’ll post all the pictures from my trip.
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