Ann Coulter, a conservative political commentator who frequently appears on television, radio, and in print, published a blog post on June 25 — the day the Americans found out their team would advance to the next stage of the World Cup despite its loss Germany — saying that growing interest in soccer is a sure sign of the country’s moral decay.
“I’ve held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of the average soccer game — so as not to offend anyone,” begins the post, with perhaps the oldest and most overused soccer joke in existence (as Uproxx is apt to point out).
Coulter goes on to list all of the reasons why soccer is an inferior sport, including “Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer,” “There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child’s fragile self-esteem is bruised” and “The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport…After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box.”
She also has a few comments on the racial merit of the game.
“I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time,” she writes, after saying that soccer’s growing popularity is likely due to Senator Ted Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law.
(This, despite the fact that games like soccer have been played in the Americas for hundreds of years, well before the Pilgrims made their landing.)
And throughout, she implies that women’s sports are not as interesting as men’s: “The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is ‘catching on’ is exceeded only by the ones pretending women’s basketball is fascinating,” and “In soccer, the women’s games are as thrilling as the men’s.”
Even President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation Ed Foster-Simeon chimed in, emphasizing that growing racial diversity — “Increased immigration from regions where you learn how to kick a soccer ball as soon as you learn how to walk…is only deepening the nation’s relationship with soccer” — and greater gender equality — “That 41% of players are women only broadens its appeal” — both contribute to the sport’s increasing popularity in a country that has historically paid little attention to fútbol.
What more? Fox News itself seems to disagree with Coulter, Shep Smith saying “It is a great day in the USA” after its advancement to the Round of 16, and “It’s not” on whether soccer was a sign of moral decay.
Agree? Disagree? Is soccer a sign of moral decline? Is it about time the United States joined the rest of the world? Comments welcome.