Here's one way the official Twitter feed of U.S. soccer celebrated the American victory at the Women's World Cup in Canada.
No wonder. The stars of the U.S. women's team are world-beaters, far more accomplished than their male counterparts and a perennial reminder of the awesomeness of female athletes. Yet, for most of the time, they have to compete in the shadow of the men's game -- paid a minuscule fraction of what their male equivalents earn and forced to play in conditions that soccer's male superstars would never accept.
The United States has a rich history of success in women's soccer, and so perhaps understands how to properly celebrate its team. You would hope American soccer authorities would never tweet what the official account of the English national team did on Monday morning:
This is a screengrab of a now-deleted tweet. Its tone-deafness is staggering. You would never see the @england account issue the parallel message for its men's team, even though British tabloids spend way too much time obsessing over the personal relationships of the country's incredibly overpaid, perpetually underwhelming men's side.
England's "Lionesses" -- who are professional athletes -- managed to make it to the semifinals of a major tournament, something the "Lions" haven't done in nearly three decades. Yet their great triumph has yielded this sort of condescension. The reaction on social media to @England's tweet was wonderfully swift.
The English Football Association, or FA, has responded to the backlash. The BBC has more:
The FA defended itself on Monday, saying the tweet linked to an online article on the FA's website about the players being reunited with their families. The line about "mothers, partners and daughters" originally appeared in that story as well, but was later edited out.
"The full story was a wider homecoming feature attempting to reflect the many personal stories within the playing squad as has been told throughout the course of the tournament," says an FA spokesman. "However, we understand that an element of the story appears to have been taken out of context and the opening paragraph was subsequently revised to reflect that fact."
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