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USWNT: An American Conflict

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The Olympic games are the most prestigious sporting tournament in the world. Global audiences tune in to witness and support their nations in a race for medals. The United States national team has been at the forefront of this amazing competition for years on end.

The women’s football team of the country is a perfect example of its ambition in the sporting world. However, following a loss to Sweden in the opening football match in the Olympics, many Americans have raised their voices against their national team.



A rare and unforgiving incident in sports history, many Americans are rooting for their country’s loss in the Olympic football tournament. The United States Women’s national team has been the pride of the nation. They are the most successful team in Women’s football and is renowned for their world-class talent and unbreakable mentality.

However, in the wake of their defeat to Sweden, many Americans, including the former president, Donald Trump, have criticised the team for their lack of performance.



Although the US team had started off to a slow campaign in many previous competitions, they usually end up picking up pace during the tournament. However, this time around, they ended their 44-game unbeaten streak with the loss, and although scored six goals in the next match, did not serve their usual energy and guile.

Their lack of aggression, a trait that has always been associated with the team, was missing. A draw against Australia and a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals is far from the ideal team. In almost every tournament they partook in, a team that has previously won Gold is underwhelming in this campaign.



Many Americans have associated their poor performance with their evident need to represent or uphold ‘woke’ values. The Women’s national team has come to personify the left-liberal wokeism. Their gesture of taking a knee before is in solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

A majority of the players are also active ambassadors or supporters of LGBT campaigns and groups. However, a section of American citizens does not seem pleased with the antics that the team and many other American athletes have been displaying.



Taking a Knee has become a symbolic gesture that sparked a racial reckoning in the United States. Many believe that its widened use has narrowed it down to just a theatrical gesture or a political antic and has therefore reduced its significance. However, ever since Megan Rapinoe first took the knee, many athletes around the globe, especially in America, realised its importance and has followed suit.



“Obviously, you know what we saw through the summer and with the pandemic, hopefully, a lot of people’s eyes are opened up, particularly my fellow white teammates. It is in fact our responsibility to stand in unity with our Black teammates to make them feel that this is an open space to talk about things. I think that we have not done a good enough job as a whole team, as a whole country obviously, but just speaking for our team, we can always do better.” – Megan Rapinoe

A section of society believes that the women’s team has got their priorities wrong. Their apparent support for such woke principles has led them to focus less on their performances on the field. A narrative that many fans are blatantly portraying on social media.


Whatever the reason may be, it is extremely unfortunate that a country’s citizens pray for their own team’s loss.  Even the likes of former President Donald Trump have publicly criticised the national team for their poor performance and blamed their woke movements as the culprit. He even added that many Americans were happy about the loss.


“Wokeism makes you lose, ruins your mind, and ruins you as a person. You become warped. You become demented. The US women’s soccer team is a very good example of what’s going on,” Trump said. “Earlier this week they unexpectedly lost to Sweden, 3-0, and Americans were happy about it.”


Trump’s comments only intensified the feelings a section of Americans had towards the team. Many believe that such woke beliefs have reduced levels of tolerance within society. Many are against it and their protests via social media and other campaigns highlight their dissent.



From Newspaper headlines to social media abuse, the USWNT is facing an array of unwanted criticism. Nevertheless, the team and players are determined to uphold their values and also to win a medal for their nation. The semi-final against rivals Canada will be a game whose significance runs beyond just medals and trophies.

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