Ann Coulter. Photo from The New York Observer.

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.”

Publications ranging from The New York Times to the San Jose Mercury News to The Guardian have written on the blog post, which is gaining quite a bit of social media attention.

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.

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Joe was born in Sweden, where the Chilean half of his family received asylum after fleeing Pinochet, and spent his early childhood in Chile; he moved to Oakland when he was eight. He attended Stanford University for political science and worked at Mission Local as a reporter after graduating. He then spent time in advocacy as a partner for the strategic communications firm The Worker Agency. He rejoined Mission Local as an editor in 2023.

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  1. Ann Coulter must be the worst informed commenter ever to write about soccer. If her political comments are as profound as her piece about soccer I rather has my goldfish tell me about politics, as that would make more sense.
    Factfree nonsense leads to moral decay as it obscures the truth to further a certain agenda.

    “Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer,” complete bullshit. No team can perform without individual achievements. “There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability…”
    Why is then it that there is a man of the match?
    Why was Messi chosen as the best player on the World Cup (although he wasn’t, Robben was)?
    No accountability? Suarez bit an opponent and can’t enter a stadium for months. Years ago a player killed himself for missing a penalty kick.
    “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.”
    Plus stitches, broken legs, concusions, torn muscles.

    And yes, only the goaly is allowed to use his hands. It takes skill to kick a ball and score. No offense, but in soccer games intercepting a ball is no reason to stop the game and celebrate. It’s just the start of a counter attack.

    The generation remark just shows she shouldn’t live in the land of the free. She’s born too late and in the wrong place. Germany in the late ’30s is more her kind of style: judging people on pedigry and telling them what to like. Go build a timemachine and burn books and people who don’t fit your xenophobic nazi-world.

    About the metric system she says:
    “Liberals get angry and tell us that the metric system is more “rational” than the measurements everyone understands. This is ridiculous. An inch is the width of a man’s thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. That’s easy to visualize. How do you visualize 147.2 centimeters?”
    Then why are there different shoesizes?
    Tell me: what’s the relation between a pound, an inch and a gallon?
    USA is among 3 countries that don’t use it. Only to cause complication in any kind of calculus.

    She’s just self rightious… and apparently never watched a game of soccer.

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  2. Futbol, football, basketball, hockey – who cares. It is all about massive numbers of fools indulging in their particular form of idolatry. It is idolatry because the idiots’ entire lives are molded around these competitions. NOTHING is more important in their little worlds than the Home Team. They act like absolute monkeys and people get killed because this team or that won such and such match. Coulter makes some good points with her sarcasm.

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