The U.S. women's soccer team defeated Japan in a 5-2 win over Independence Day weekend. However, patriotic cheers were marred by vitriolic tweets about America's dominance over Japan both on and off the soccer field. Immediately after the game, "Pearl Harbor," "Hiroshima" and "Nagasaki" were the trending topics. It's no surprise that international sporting events can galvanize audiences. Passionate responses are par for the course. But would a Japanese victory have spurred the same type of unsportsmanlike response?
What should have been a purely celebratory event merely revealed the racism inherent in American patriotism. Some social media users claimed the victory was a "payback" for Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. These tweets were posted by a generation that wasn't even alive during that catastrophic event.
Take a look at some of the offensive tweets.
1. I doubt midfielder Carli Lloyd offered consent for her representation.
2. Getting real "Gnarly" there, Ned.
3. There must've been a lot of casualties out on that soccer field.
4. I don't remember reading anything about cheering and hugging after Hiroshima 1.0.
5. Then what was Hiroshima for? And Nagasaki?
6. Grammar and class were left behind at the bleachers.
7. Can someone tell the "Slut Whisperer" to stick to whispering?
8. What, PMS?
9. Was the "Slut Whisperer" making comments again?
10. Losing a sport results in many deaths. Apparently.
11. She should never go into the T-shirt business.
12. This isn't the first time that "Pearl Harbor" and "Nagasaki" have trended after a sporting event. A similar response followed when the U.S. women's soccer team defeated the Japanese team in 2012, which ironically fell on the 67th anniversary of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack that killed 70,000 people.
13. Because their motivation for winning was so clear from the start.
14. Now it's getting way too personal.
15. But there have been many responses to the hateful tweets as well.
16. And another.
Let's not forget that 120,000 people were massacred as a result of the two atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Winning or losing a sports event is in no way equivalent to the loss of lives; it demeans our victory to call it retribution for a tragic historical event. Wouldn't it have been enough to celebrate the victory, without taking that next spiteful step? We weren't even being bad losers; we were bad winners. Americans should dispense with the unsporting vitriol, and focus instead on cheering for their female compatriots when they progress to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2019 World Cup in France.
We're not perfect. But there are certainly things people do that make us ashamed of being humans, and that's why aliens probably don't want to visit us. Read some examples of humans making poor decisions in this interesting article here.