The Brief: The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team is taking on the 2019 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, along with sexist comments and wage disparity, in this series of memes.
Summer’s here, July 4th is near, and the whole world is focused on one thing only: Women’s Soccer.
Today, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team takes on England for the World Cup Semi-finals and soccer (or football) stans can’t contain their excitement.
I hope that everyone in the USA and U.K. are watching the #WomensWorldCup2019 tomorrow (2nd of July). All the women are amazing athletes and the match is going to be epic. We can’t wait!
— Kristin Nevins (@kjlnevins) July 1, 2019
I’m dying my hair purple. Let’s go!! #USWMNT #Rapinoe ❤️
— Zac Efron (@ZacEfron) June 28, 2019
Me: I have so much to do!
Also me: *watches US women’s soccer hype videos for 5 hours* #USAvENG #WomensWorldCup2019 pic.twitter.com/UX53R3MX8n
— Alexandra (@alexandraaam) July 2, 2019
The hashtag #USAvENG started trending this morning on Twitter, well before the game’s kick off.
With America’s Independence Day just around the corner, it’s no surprise that this latest batch of memes roast the Brits in a historical context.
Sorry, England. It's America's birthday week. We do what we want at the beginning of July. You're just going to have to take another "L". #USWNT #OneNationOneTeam #FIFAWWC #USA #USAvENG #WhenInTheCourseOfHumanEventsItBecomesNecessaryForOnePeopleToBelieveThatWeWillWin pic.twitter.com/5QVdAcckIB
— Brian Wedig ⚔️🦁🧡💙⚽ (@BrianWedge88) July 2, 2019
I swear, the Womens Soccer team has me feeling Patriotic more than the 4th of July.
LETS! GO! #USAvENG
— Dan-Eli De La Torre (@dan_de_la_torre) July 2, 2019
The Second Revolutionary War begins today. Here come the Colonists! #USAvENG #FIFAWWC2019 #ibelievethatwewillwin pic.twitter.com/Lospx1XJGR
— Cameron Feil (@CFeil) July 2, 2019
Lets Go USA! Let's Beat those Red Coats one more time! #USWNT #USAvENG @FOXSoccer @alexmorgan13 @HeatherOReilly @AlexiLalas pic.twitter.com/XQOJRWRIB6
— Jeffrey Collins (@Jeffrey_D17) July 2, 2019
There had to be at least one Hamilton reference.
#USAvENG The USA. Been dominating England since 1776. pic.twitter.com/9vOnP0V9cC
— David Menzie (@dmenzie1) July 2, 2019
The American team, which currently reigns as FIFA’s Women’s World Cup Champions, has proved on more than one occasion this season that they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Moreover, they’ve proved to be the most memeable team on the block.
Meme Queen Megan Rapinoe
For anyone that hasn’t been watching the 2019 Women’s World Cup, it’s likely they’ve still heard the name, Megan Rapinoe.
Megan’s “power pose” from the quarterfinals stuck with many fans on Twitter and Instagram… so much so that they turned it into a viral meme.
Megan Rapinoe, that's it that's the tweet pic.twitter.com/NhDpNw2pUz
— jay smooth (@jsmooth995) June 28, 2019
This meme has been used to convey a sense of accomplishment and pride, even for taking on the most basic tasks.
when i do my core workout pic.twitter.com/eF3FpawVsK
— des_linden (@des_linden) June 28, 2019
Me when I boil water and cook pasta instead of ordering delivery. pic.twitter.com/iN1gl0ZKRy
— Isaac Fitzgerald🤞🏻🖤 (@IsaacFitzgerald) June 29, 2019
when I get my inbox down to ten emails pic.twitter.com/yvBoAXZErA
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) June 28, 2019
This user commented on Rapinoe’s BDE.
I don't know what the female equivalent of big dick energy is, but Megan Rapinoe has it in spades. pic.twitter.com/RujWWvIwuw
— Jane Conducts the Electric City (@sgtjanedoe) June 28, 2019
Don’t @ her, she’s ready.
I believe the appropriate translation for this image is COME AT ME BRO pic.twitter.com/RwwzfQdU2Y
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) June 28, 2019
Rapinoe vs. Trump vs. Twitter
In a recent interview, Rapinoe admitted that she had no interest in attending the White House, should the U.S. Women’s Team take home the World Cup.
In fact, she rather emphatically declared, “I’m not going to the f**king White House.”
“How much do you hate the current president”
Megan Rapinoe: “This much” pic.twitter.com/MhXMWUyD0w
— Sean Yoo (@SeanYoo) June 28, 2019
Several people took to Twitter, trolling Rapinoe for her comment and dragging her for being “unpatriotic”. Earlier in the tournament, Rapinoe received backlash again for exercising her right to kneel during the National Anthem.
Despite the criticism Rapinoe and the entire Women’s U.S. Team have endured, including a tweet from President Trump himself, there’s also been an overwhelming amount of public support on social media. Much of it praises Rapinoe for standing up for what she believes in…
In regards to the “President’s” tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.
— Ali Krieger (@alikrieger) June 26, 2019
Thinking about that amazing Megan Rapinoe shot and how women are taught from the earliest age to take up as little space as possible; to make ourselves invisible, so we feel both uneasy and liberated looking at it. pic.twitter.com/VMjdNOLGN9
— Dani Garavelli (@DaniGaravelli1) June 29, 2019
While other comments target President Trump, directly.
The true President Of The United States #MeganRapino #WomensWorldCup2019 pic.twitter.com/MuSRPl65HG
— Tom (@TomG1860) June 28, 2019
You’ve got that backwards:
Trump is the NATIONAL DISGRACE.
Megan Rapinoe is the NATIONAL HERO. https://t.co/qrXHmkbWYt
— Ryan Knight, LightsForLiberty.org🗽 (@ProudResister) July 1, 2019
Some meme-makers have even photoshopped Rapinoe’s now-iconic photo to include the President.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) June 29, 2019
— ElElegante101 (@skolanach) June 29, 2019
Someone went above and beyond with this Wikipedia page FTW.
OMFG someone edited Megan Rapinoe’s wiki page and I’m DYING AHAHHAHA YES #MyPresident pic.twitter.com/kEgyLNtKEh
— maddie (@madunderwood394) June 28, 2019
It’s clear that she’s got quite a fan club.
Woke up excited to see how Megan Rapinoe will dunk on trump today. Windmill maybe??
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) July 2, 2019
Rapinoe & Bird
Nobody’s support can compare with that of Rapinoe’s long time GF, 3-time WNBA champion, Sue Bird. Just this morning, Bird released an op-ed piece with The Players’ Tribune titled, “So the President F**king Hates My Girlfriend”.
In general, soccer fans, the LGBTQ+ community, and general Twitter followers were extremely pleased with what Bird had to say and have showed their support via memes and tweets.
So the President F*cking Hates My Girlfriend, by Sue Bird
This is Megan Rapinoe's girlfriend.
What an unexpectedly hilarious and touching piece. Read to the end. ⚽🏳️🌈 https://t.co/2fIvYazCb3
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) July 2, 2019
Find you someone who writes an op-ed about you like Sue Bird does Megan Rapinoe. pic.twitter.com/C7UzRbkSWm
— Jane McManus (@janesports) July 2, 2019
The internet may have found a new couple to ship.
I just found out that Megan Rapinoe's partner is basketball great Sue Bird and I want science to figure out a way for them to make a baby with just their own DNA so she will be a superhero and save us all.
— Peter Sagal (@petersagal) June 25, 2019
We don't talk enough about what a power couple Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are. Between the two of them
5 Gold Medals
4 FIBA World Cups
3 NCAA Championships
3 WNBA Championships
1 FIFA World Cup
No one else comes close to that
— Kevin Brunelli (@Kevin_Brunelli) July 2, 2019
Make way for the future First Couple.
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are the First Couple of the United States. I am not entertaining counter-arguments. pic.twitter.com/ZA7X4aBT4L
— Kace (@RealKaceBox) June 28, 2019
Megan Rapinoe for president
Sue Bird for first lady
Best couple in American history? pic.twitter.com/58eOrHfrKy
— Matt Eisenberg (@matteisenberg42) June 28, 2019
While it remains to be seen whether or not the U.S. will solicit an invitation to the White House, Rapinoe has other options. AOC issued the entire team an invite to the House of Representatives…
It may not be the White House, but we’d be happy to welcome @mPinoe & the entire #USWMNT for a tour of the House of Representatives anytime they’d like. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/ccgqE8vCds
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 28, 2019
Which Rapinoe happily accepted.
Consider it done @AOC 🥳
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) June 29, 2019
Let the fanfiction begin!
I just realized that someone out there is almost certainly writing up some AOC / Megan Rapinoe slashfic right about now.
— Sean Kelly (@StorySlug) July 1, 2019
Sexism and Soccer
Perhaps the most noteworthy memes regarding the 2019 Women’s World Cup have been those calling out people’s blatant sexist comments.
US Women’s soccer team: *is one of the best teams in the world*
Sexist white dudes: “yeah our high school team could’ve taken them”
— malcolm i (@2_percent_MALC) June 29, 2019
Overheard: Two men talking at work
Man 1: Did you watch the Womens football last night?
Man 2: No, it’s not real football is it#EverydaySexism
Makes my blood boil#WomensWorldCup2019
— PenkyMax (@penkymax) June 25, 2019
Watching the England v Norway game at the pub and a man came up to me and said “they’re aren’t naked so it’s not worth watching.”
This is the disgusting attitude we need to change #WomensWorldCup2019
— pao-tato (@paolinadb) June 27, 2019
This is definitely not something to LOL about.
Old white Soccer bros don’t understand the plot of Fight Club
They think watching the women’s #WorldCup makes them not sexist
— Alex Sayf Cummings🌹 (@akbarjenkins) June 28, 2019
All the straight middle aged white men fuming about #WomensWorldCup2019, #StormzyAtGlasto and #Pride are just mad because it wasn't speaking directly to them.
They're so used to culture and sport being made for them, they have meltdown when it isn't.
The world has changed. pic.twitter.com/3BHsMzXqSz
— Elizabeth Pascoe (@ElizabethPasco6) June 29, 2019
It’s always fun to hear how no one ask for Men’s opinions on Women’s Soccer and then something happens in women’s soccer and some men feel the need to make a sexist comment or that they don’t watch
— shariff (@elite1sb) June 28, 2019
Moreover, there’s also been much discussion regarding the obscenely unequal pay scale for professional male and female soccer players.
⚽️ 1 male soccer player makes almost double the combined salaries of nearly 1,700 of the world's top female players.
During #WomensWorldCup2019, join @UN_Women in demanding equal pay for #WomenInSport. https://t.co/5xnSaUIfFz pic.twitter.com/IYQibSOn3J
— United Nations (@UN) June 29, 2019
While several people have tried defending the pay scale, blaming it on men’s soccer being more “marketable”, others have expressed their opinions that men are stronger and more qualified to play the game than women.
I mean, I’m sorry this may sound sexist but women’s soccer is not as highly viewed as men’s soccer….marketability plays a role https://t.co/6GpYh2jKxI
— Cost of Equity Capital (@CostEquity) June 29, 2019
Well, the President Cheeto is right for once. Soccer is a business. People are paid based on the amount of money they bring in via fans and audiences. Want to blame anyone for disparity there, blame the audience.
— Omar S (@Omars_Words) June 27, 2019
The US Women’s National Soccer Team defeated Thailand in the first game of the 2019 Women’s World Cup with a record-breaking 13-0 score. The players were immediately criticized for their resounding victory.
After proudly admitting that she would not attend the White House because of Trump’s politics, Megan Rapinoe was verbally attacked on social media.
Soccer insiders have straight-up reported that women’s soccer games generate more revenue than men’s, but the players still earn less.
It’s clear that there’s both an economic and socio-disparity between men’s and women’s soccer that most likely won’t be solved anytime soon. However, players like Megan Rapinoe have laid the foundation for such issues to be addressed by creating an open dialogue.
For now, fans can watch as America takes on England this afternoon!