U.S. women’s national team star Alex Morgan said Friday she was surprised by the backlash she received for her celebration after scoring a goal against England in Tuesday’s semifinal match at the Women’s World Cup.
Morgan, who turned 30 on Tuesday, scored the game’s deciding goal in the 31st minute and rejoiced by sipping an imaginary cup of tea, ruffling the feathers of some who viewed the display as excessive and unacceptable behavior.
“I feel that there is some sort of double standard for females in sports to feel like we have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate, but not too much or in a limited fashion,” Morgan told reporters.
Morgan said the move is actually a tip of the cap, err, pinkie, to British “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner, who ends her Instagram stories by saying “And that’s the tea” before she sips from a cup.
“My celebration was actually more about, ‘That’s the tea,’ which is telling a story, spreading news,” Morgan said. “Sophie Turner does it quite often. She’s one of my favorite actresses. So it wasn’t a hit to England in any way.”
Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. co-captain, defended her teammate on Wednesday, saying of the criticism: “Wah, wah, wah. We’re at the World Cup. I don’t think anyone truly believes we disrespect the game or our opponents. What do you want us to do? We work hard. We like to play hard. ”
And Turner herself took time from her honeymoon with Joe Jonas to set the record straight about the tea-sipping celebration.
“Okay, I’m on my honeymoon, I’m not really looking at my phone much but I feel like this deserves a mention,” Turner said in an Instagram Story video on Friday. “Unfortunately, the U.K. women’s football team lost at the World Cup, and of course I’m incredibly sad and incredibly proud of that team. But I am so honored that we lost to such an incredible team, the U.S. women’s football team.”
“Alex Morgan, all the haters that are saying that this was disrespectful, I’m honored that you thought of me and all those people that are hating on you are probably sitting at home, millennials drinking kombucha,” Turner said. “And I’m really f------ proud of you, Alex Morgan. Congratulations on your win. And that’s the motherf------ tea.”
Morgan and the defending World Cup champions look to secure the team’s fourth title Sunday at 11 a.m. against the Netherlands.
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