Word to UK media regarding the U.S. women’s Olympic team: Uh, these ladies DO play soccer. And they are good at it. Or haven’t you noticed?
I’m often flummoxed by how guarded the soccer players can be from foreign lands. Not just the natives of foreign lands, either; even the Americans who go abroad tend to become very stand-offish with news gatherers once they return home.
Sometimes they get downright suspicious, to the point of being all tin-foil-hat paranoid about it, as if writers and broadcasters spend their days conjuring up new and improved methods of personality assassination.
Then I see stories like the one below, and it all makes sense. The foreign press really can be insufferable at times.
Bottom line here, the American media world isn’t perfect. Far from it. But generally speaking it is night and day better than what athletes deal with once they cross borders.
Case in point:
This is the story of the U.S. women’s Olympic team’s arrival into Glasgow from Scotland’s Daily Record.
It’s an insulting report, sexist and demeaning. You have to dig in and work very hard to figure out that the United States women’s national team is among the world’s best, with actual athletes who take their craft seriously, and who are globally recognized as being among the tip-top at what they do.
This is not some giggling assembly of sophomore-year-abroad co-eds looking for tourist trinkets while waiting for their next chance to preen before the cameras – although that’s what this newspaper seems to think. The first 95 words from the Daily Record’s story:
All of a sudden, the Olympics have got sexy. Really sexy.
The pin-up babes of the US Olympic football team arrived for their first training session in Glasgow yesterday.
And although the rain was pouring down, you would hardly have noticed as stars such as glamour-girl keeper Hope Solo, 32, and strike stunner Alex Morgan, 23, hit the pitch.
The Seattle Sounders team-mates – who caused a sensation recently with a photoshoot wearing only sprayed-on paint “bikinis” – were put through their paces at Strathclyde University’s training ground in Stepps, near Glasgow, amid a huge security operation.
So, yes … good luck, ladies. Do take heart, because soon enough, real journalists who are there to talk about and write about actual competition will be on the scene. The nincompoops will still be around, of course, but at least you can walk past them on the way to something better.
Until then … well, just fight through it best you can.