I’ve watched this video of Megan Rapinoe nonchalantly signing a soccer ball for a young boy about a hundred times already. I’ve seen posts condemning Rapinoe for being “callous” or “cold” or just a plain bitch about ten thousand times already.
— ABC (@ABCNetwork) July 11, 2019
Rapinoe’s behavior on the international soccer scene has been as much of an annoyance and a disappointment to me as to anyone else. I find her attitude about America and how she represents our nation on the field extremely disrespectful to the fans who support U.S. women’s soccer. Like a lot of people she had me shaking my head more than once.
But in this age of outrage, it isn’t simply enough to register one’s displeasure and move on. We must demonize, “otherize”, pulverize the other side. The subject of our disdain must become the scapegoat for every hard feeling, every unjust judgment, every unfounded accusation. The progressive Left has been doing this for a while, but particularly ramped up their rage since Trump hit the scene. The reaction from the Right has been to sling those arrows right back. Rage met with rage, hatred met with hatred.
When Obama was president my liberal friend told me, “There’s nothing Obama could do that would make you like him. No matter what he does, you’re going to hate it because it’s Obama!”…and he was right. I can justify all my reasons for disliking Obama, but the fact is that I had a picture in my mind of who he was as a person and even having spoken to him personally, I still could not separate my distaste for him from the rest of it.
It is the same way with Trump. He’ll say and do what he wants because, at the end of the day, if you hate Trump you will always hate Trump. Nothing he does will give you the space to view him objectively. The mind is a funny thing, and when it set its narrative it is hard to recognize anything outside of it.
Rapinoe might not be the classiest athlete in the world, and she might hold a lot of political opinions I find abhorrent but she isn’t the devil. Yet, I’ve seen conservatives continue to describe her as such. Every tiny thing she does is scrutinized as offensive, ignorant, or downright un-American.
Most recently I saw someone on social media describe her celebratory stance in a photo as a “nazi salute”. She was apparently standing in front of the Jewish Heritage Museum along the parade route when the picture was snapped. The commenters were outraged that these arrogant, unpatriotic, antisemitic “bitches” would be offering a Nazi salute in front of a Jewish site.
It blew my mind. Sure, these ladies could be seen as crass and, like others, I find some of their attitudes towards the nation that has given them so much to be very disappointing. Still, that doesn’t mean I see a boogieman in every corner. It’s quite a leap from “She doesn’t want to stand for the anthem” to “She honors Adolf Hitler in front of a Jewish site”.
I mean…gosh…that’s a huge leap.
The U.S. women’s soccer team member Megan Rapinoe holds the championship trophy at City Hall after a ticker tape parade, Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women’s World Cup title. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
But many people felt justified in the assumption because they have already decided that Rapinoe is evil. Their filters are set to “red” when it comes to looking at her.
When I look at this video both my reason and my journalistic instincts kick in. I see a recording that begins with the boy handing the ball to Rapinoe. What I don’t see is the moment before. Had she already spoken to him? Had he already given his thanks? Why was this boy on the floor of the Espys in the first place? You don’t get there by accident. Was that ball even for him? Perhaps, like the ball runners at big tennis events who are many times children given the honor of a small task on a big day, he’s the autograph runner for the Espys. Perhaps the autograph was not only not for him but also it was the 10th time that hour Rapinoe had signed a ball from him to run back up to the fans waiting in their cordoned off area.
And the biggest perhaps of all – perhaps she was just busy. I mean…come on. She’s at the biggest awards event in her industry, she’s chatting, having a good time…do we need to make her out to be the second coming of John Wayne Gacy because she didn’t look at a kid?
Can you see the similarities between the rage addicts on the right and the left?
Or is it just me?