Let’s be clear: I’m not celebrating the loss of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team. I never cheer the defeat of anyone who nominally represents my country, because to do so would be to glory in the shame of my own mother. In other words, I’m not raising a glass (of glog) to Sweden, the native country of my great-grandmother.

But I’m not sad. In fact, while I take no pleasure in the fact that my team will no longer be in the running for the World Cup, I’m happy that at least some of the women on that team suffered a reckoning with reality. And that reality is the fact that the vast majority of decent, well-intentioned Americans didn’t care if they won. I’d even wager that a good percentage hoped they’d lose. But I think the rest of us are just tired of having to deal with pampered, privileged darlings who think that being able to kick a ball (and after this last performance, they might want to rethink that assumption) gives them license to ridicule their native country on foreign soil.

It’s one thing to take a knee at a football stadium in San Francisco, Baltimore, or New York. While it is protected by the First Amendment, it’s not exactly polite, productive, or conducive to increased ticket sales.

READ MORE — Christine Flowers: The only option was the nuclear one

It is, however, quite another thing to show an international audience just how little appreciation you have for the flawed but glorious country that provided you with the opportunity to become rich beyond your wildest dreams, adored by little girls and their star-struck mothers, invited to the White House (by presidents you actually like), and guaranteed a mention in the history books. Like the Dixie Chicks learned after they went around the world exclaiming about how disgusted they were with America, these coddled ladies are only now realizing that the shrugged shoulders and rolled eyes they’ll be greeted with by most marginally patriotic Americans are well-deserved and of their own making.

Some have tried to point out that it’s really only Megan Rapinoe who disrespected the country, and that her toxicity, like cancer, metastasized throughout the rest of the team. That’s wrong. While Rapinoe was the most vocal America-hater, none of her teammates had the courage to shut her down. The fact that they let her be the face of women’s soccer says as much about them as it does about her.

When John McCain was a guest at the Hanoi Hilton, his communist captors tried to get him to slander the American government. He would not. He paid the price in broken bones and lashes.

When the stakes were much lower, some talented athletes with bugs up their collective, well-toned posteriors were more than happy to show — through the omission of any effort at patriotism — how far they had traveled from that heroism.

So, I’m not celebrating the loss of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team. But I won’t lose any sleep over the fact that they all got kicked royally by karma.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and lifelong Philadelphian. @flowerlady61

21 thoughts on “Christine Flowers: Kicks and karma”

  1. I fully expected someone to write a completely nasty uninformed column about this, and lo and behold, Christine Flowers doesn’t disappoint!

    1) Whether you or anyone else wanted them to win had zero influence on whether or not they won. Did you watch Sunday’s game? They played well. Sweden played well. This is SPORTS. You win some, you lose some, and when you say you won’t lose any sleep over it, BIG DEAL. No one should. I’d bet money given your specifics-free “column” that you didn’t watch one minute of these games. So you know who’s not losing sleep over YOU and your opinion? Any member of this team and the MILLIONS of fans they have, world-wide. You don’t know one thing about this game. The US suffered from complicated strategic issues that you don’t understand, not “woke.”

    2) Demanding equal pay for equal work doesn’t have anything to do with patriotism. It has to do with getting what you deserve and what you’re worth. Would you accept less money than a male opinion columnist?

    3) What exactly did these women do that is so anti-American? You don’t list even one actual example. They stood for the anthem. They didn’t sing. Is that your problem? I invite you to attend any sporting event and tell me how many people are actually singing. I don’t. I’m not a singer and these women aren’t either. Did the MEN’S TEAM sing, Christine? Or did they just stand there? Are you going to write about that?

    4) Because of people like you and three-times indicted Trump who really has enough of his own problems and should also leave sports commentary to those with actual insight, these women couldn’t win in the court of public opinion no matter what they did. I was reminded of the monologue from Barbie, because this World Cup’s endless critique of these athletes exemplified it.

    “You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

    I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us.”

    When the team beat Thailand 13-0 in 2019, they were showing off. When they beat Vietnam this year by 3 goals, that was “low-scoring.” They take a knee you hate them. They stand for the anthem, you hate them, then, too.
    When they danced and took selfies after the match VS Portugal, they were slammed for looking to happy after a tie. When they don’t sing the anthem, then they look too miserable. You and the right had decided long ago you’d hate on them no matter what they did. And you better believe they tuned it out as the meaningless garbage it all was.

    I wouldn’t expect Christine to know any of that because she doesn’t care about the sport and she’s just here to do her best Megyn Kelly impersonation. I have a joke for you. What’s the difference between Rapinoe and Flowers? Rapinoe has a meaningful legacy and the respect of her field. And then there’s Christine Flowers.

    1. Leave to the cultish Trump obsessed Trump haters to somehow bring this around to Trump. You people are a sad bunch. Get out and touch some grass instead of the constant obsessing over Trump. It’s a sickness at this point. These women disrespected the country that let them get rich and famous from playing a children’s game for a living and that megan is nothing more than a privileged pompous pig. She treats her fans like they are gum on the bottom of her shoe and talks down to people when they address her. She needed to be brought down to earth and now we can only hope she fades away and is forgotten real soon. I may not write as eloquently as Christine but I sure do share her sentiment in that Megan’s karma caught up with her and she can now be miserable and nasty out of the spotlight – let’s see where that gets her.

        1. Well, CF and Gina, Trump commented on it. He brought it around to HIMSELF. You’re posting here too so look in the mirror and “touch some grass.” And the Barbie movie is better than anything you’ve ever written, CF

  2. I’m not a fan of soccer the male or female version. As to equal pay that comes about as a result of equal revenue by the team(s). The more they make, the more they should be paid.

    “Rapinoe, now playing in her final World Cup, said in 2019 that she would ‘never put my hand over my heart’ and ‘never sing the national anthem again.’ ” What part of this should be supported by patriotic Americans? She is free to express herself just as others are free to despise her expression and disdain for her country.



    1. I don’t care what she said in 2019. Today in 2023 she said it was her greatest honor to have played for this country. Trust me, in 2019/2020 plenty of us were disgusted with this country.

      1. Nope – nope.

        An adult – who, by the way, commands attention of the international community and is a representative of the US- doesn’t get treated seriously when they say things like that.

        You have highlighted a fundamental difference in political persuasion and their patriotism. I despise the hijacking of the term “patriots” by wing nuts, but they are at least proud and hopeful for this county.

        People who want to “change the country for the better” and state they are ashamed of its past can be summarized as anti american.

        There is not an excuse for it. She doesnt get a pass. She isn’t a child who is still learning and gaining perspective. She should apologize and be ashamed of her statements and narrow-minded, regurgitated far left talking points when she should have just been proudly playing in an international stage to represent the United States of America and all of her citizens.

        1. “People who want to “change the country for the better” and state they are ashamed of its past can be summarized as anti american.”
          Really? Do you hear yourself? That’s a really unbelievable statement.
          I’m ashamed of slavery. I’m ashamed of the Japanese internment camps during WII. I’m ashamed that a cop kneeled George Flloyd to death. And I’m not anti-American by a long shot. I could go on, but everyone should be ashamed of that and if you don’t want to change the country for the better, you should be ashamed of yourself.
          I’m enjoying watching all the same commentors who were all about free speech about two weeks ago hate all over Rapinoe’s peaceful protest. Hmmmm, I wonder what’s different about her that provokes this reaction???
          But again, none of this matters, because most of this comes from people who don’t care about the sport to begin with. It’d be like me saying I was boycotting a Trump rally. And that’s why she’s remained one of the most popular and respected players of her sport, of all time, period. People who’ve been watching all along know that.

  3. Jennifer,

    I think you make some valid points.

    That said, Rapinoe waded into political commentary and did disrespect America with kneeling. I don’t care how anyone spins it, the act of kneeling was a refusal to stand in recognition and honor of the flag – that was the point.

    She drew the attention on herself of the pro American right with her activism. It replaced the image of a strong American international image they had earned through their hard work and she hijacked the work of her team -in my opinion- and it tapped into the polarization and constant politicization of every corner of our society. Everyone is sick of it.

    To go into the importance as a matter of national security and UNITEDness of supporting your flag and countries institutions despite short comings is worth a book of content and analysis for Americans today. And China and our enemies are noting and exploiting it.

    You want to complain about being a woman? Men can complain about the same unreasonable expectations placed on us.

    The world has gone insane in its effort to view everything through the world of victimhood. It’s not a good thing or one that can seek a resolution.

    I dont wish the team or Rapinoe any nastiness, but I do understand when someone sees her fail and being an eency weency bit pleased. It’s not at women failing or the US Women’s Soccer team. It’s watching a self righteous – self defined through her own actions – political icon who was paid and subsidized through tax dollars and our Flag to represent American people on an international stage misrepresent America’s priorities and do it partisanly.

    It just takes a bit more effort than Rapinoe deserves to go through the extra steps to distinguish it all. But we should still do it.

  4. In 2017, FC Dallas under-15 boys squad beat the U.S. Women’s National Team in a scrimmage. Fact. How much were those under-15 boys squad paid? I’ll wait for you to fact check it.
    “…polarization and constant politicization of every corner of our society. Everyone is sick of it.” Correct. Yet, as soon as any conservatives push back on these far-Left crazy people, these lap-top elitists, then they are accused of being “nasty.” So, what happens is slowly conservatives give an inch and then lose a mile. Now we live in crazy world where electric cars are actually worse for the environment and get charged by fossil fuels, men are in women’s bathrooms, and blah, blah, blah. Progressives constantly pushing their garbage.
    I’m thrilled they lost because now ESPN will have to find some other way to generate the “cognitive infrastructure” – again a term uncovered in expedited discovery in “Missouri v. Biden” case. Stop being nice to these lunatics and ingrates like Rapione. I’m thrilled she lost her platform…thrilled.

    1. Uh buddy I hate to break it to you, but Rapinoe didn’t lose her platform. She has oodles of sponsors and guarantee she will be a well paid commentator somewhere. Because MILLIONS of people don’t agree with you and respect her.

    2. Also, this scrimmage anecdote that you love so much proves nothing. The women’s team didn’t go all out. It was practice for them. And no, the boy’s team should not have been paid for one practice. Acting like that’s the same as a professional sports season is insane and proves nothing. The bottom line is the women’s team has more wins and is more popular.

      1. Jennifer Fenn,
        How much is the women’s Portgual team paid? Or the 2023 women’s Sweden Team? They tied and beat the US so should they get paid more than the US team, right? Taylor Twellman, Rebecca Lowe, and Carli Lloyd do not understand the nuances of women’s soccer either?
        Why should the FC Dallas under-15 boys squad not have been paid? Apply the same logic to the NFL Redskins cheerleaders from 2017.
        I’m just being nasty and used that example so I could use the term “Redskins” in a far-Left but valid and acceptable way; or, maybe it was actually “hate” speech. Who can say? Who knows? Only crazy far-Left lunatics. My thoughts are anecdotes.

  5. Jennifer did such a good job in putting the ever myopic Christine in her place, I have little to add. I’ll just point out how it just so typical that Christine ends her story with the big crescendo of how they lost due to “karma.” Whether it’s karma, the literal Noah’s ark, miracles of would-be saints (don’t dispute these or she will literally cry) walking on water or burning bushes, there are few supernatural fairy tales that Christine won’t buy into and then… have pure, absolute hate for you if you don’t as well.

  6. Rapino kneeled for the anthem even before they won the World Cup in 2019 so was it karma then when they won. It’s like your cherry picking a few games over the last 8 years and saying it’s karma is reaching for a dubious headline.

  7. People, Soccer (Football) is a child’s game played by adults for as big an amount of coin as can be obtained. This doesn’t make them experts on everything and for which we should all pay close attention to. Those who have used the sport to grow rich and then trash the country that allowed them to excel, deserve the criticisms of ungratefulness and arrogance. It is mostly driven by opportunism and a desire for publicity. Later to say “Hey, just kidding, didn’t mean it and by the way I did good things” just doesn’t cut it. If you hate your country so much you must go public and spend years covering it with pails of manure, you really should not remain a citizen, to do so is super hypocritical. I am not ashamed of America, warts and all, it did bring some good into the world as evidenced by the 100,000s who died in its wars. By the way, for all the leftist progressives, Earl Warren was appointed to the Supreme Court and was arguably the most left Justice ever, ws the Attorney General of California and the leading light in lobbying FDR to set up the internment camps and the confiscation of Nisi owned homes and business. I guess to leftists at the time, nothing to be ashamed for.

  8. It must be utterly exhausting for Christine Flowers to constantly go from one fake outrage to the next depending on what her tribe tells her she needs to be fake outraged about. Her tribe sides with Putin over America in the Russian/Ukraine war. In fact, Republicans don’t blame Putin – they blame AMERICAN for Putin’s evil deeds. The guy Flowers voted for twice called our Vietnam losers and suckers and never stopped trashing John McCain’s war record. Spare us her “patriotism” rants. She cherry picks that according to what her tribe tells her to think.

    1. Deanna,
      I agree with you about Trump and his specific comments regarding POW’s and McCain. It is the primary reason I did not vote for Trump and held my nose and voted for HC. Then the tyrants pulled the Covid “2 weeks to flatten the curve” and I slowly woke up to a few things.
      Are you kidding about siding with Putin over America? Are you that asleep? Do yourself a favor and look up: “Ukraine opens up for Monsanto, land grabs and GMOs.” Be warned! You will find an article from 2014, with a burned soldier and they call him the N-word. Seriously. They did that all the way back in 2014. “Hidden from mainstream media exposure, the World Bank and IMF loan has opened up Ukraine to major corporate inroads, writes Joyce Nelson. Loan conditions are forcing the deeply indebted country to open up to GMO crops, and lift the ban on private sector land ownership. US corporations are jubilant at the ‘goldmine’ that awaits them.” Do yourself a favor and read the article. And how on the planet Earth do you think the situation in Ukraine is Putin vs America? (Btw, is that Canada, United States, and Mexico? Or does it include S. America too?)

  9. Isn’t the use of the term “Tribe” here just a tad snarky, leaning toward racist? In the context of how this term is being used, it is not even correct. “Tribe” as its first definition is “a division of roman people, a social group comprising numerous families, clans or generations together with slaves, dependents or adopted strangers. It is most used today to describe various groupings of Native Americans. I don’t think this describes people who hold similar viewpoints with Christine Flowers.

  10. A few random thoughts regarding the Op-ed and comments to it:
    Any US national team should have a strict code of conduct and decorum regarding our anthem and our flag. Break the code, you’re off the team. You represent your country, not your personal beliefs. Any personal act of defiance takes away from the team. Don’t like it? Go play for Cuba.
    Isn’t it ironic that Megan was put in a position to end the shootout, win the game with a goal kick, completely missed, and then smiled about it?
    I hear Bud Light is looking for a new spokesperson.

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