I hope there were a lot of girls in front of the TV yesterday for Team USA's Women's World Cup Final victory over Japan. I think it would be good for them to see 22 women celebrated for accomplishing something that did not require them to show off outrageous amounts of cleavage. Or to have half of their butts hanging out of the bottom of their outfits. It would be refreshing for them to see somebody become famous for something other than a sex tape. And to see women excel regardless of who they are dating in their industry or how they look on television.
There were no princesses on the pitch Sunday. No songs about waiting for Prince Charming to come along and make their lives perfect. There was no twerking or stripper dancing. Just women working hard, sweating and earning the accolades and prizes that came their way. Nobody was labeled by their sexual orientation or their self-identified gender on Sunday--just by the numbers on the backs of their jerseys and their positions on the field. Only one of them has been arrested multiple times (just to show that nobody is perfect).
The girls also would have noticed none of the women were attacking each other behind their backs on camera. There were no "cat fights" with every other word bleeped out for television. There were no drunken rants about each other's sexual histories, fake body parts or "real" financial status. Those who had been stars and were now coming off the bench were the most supportive of those who now start ahead of them--and were appreciative of the limited time they got to play in the game--instead of pouting and crying about what they "deserved" because of "who they are".
Hopefully a lot of fathers sat with those girls to watch that game as well. And that the Dads cheered the accomplishments of the women as vigorously as they do the men who play their favorite sports--because that sends a message that what these ladies were doing was just as important as what happens on Sundays in the fall. And I would hope that the Dads didn't comment on players' appearances or body types or scoff at how the game is slower and not as powerful or the real lack of competitive balance throughout the field--because that sends a message to their daughters as well.
And when it was all over, I hope those girls noticed that the players didn't pick up a Rainbow Flag or a Confederate Flag or the flag of their respective home states. They ran around the field waving the American Flag--because that represents all of the people who helped them get to where they were in that moment and all of those who had supported them in that effort.