When I heard the US Women’s hockey team blew a 2-0 lead with 3:30 remaining in the gold
medal game the first thing I thought was what a choke job! It’s virtually impossible to give
up two goals in that period of time especially considering what was at stake. I was going to
write a blog blasting them for being over hyped and underachieving, but then I saw the tears
in their eyes after the game and thought better of it. I felt sorry for them and didn’t want to rub
it in. At least they did their best.
This is eerily similar to how I felt after the US women’s soccer team lost the World Cup final to
Japan. The US women were ahead with very little time left and allowed Japan to tie the game.
They sucked on penalty kicks and ultimately lost the championship. Instead of focusing on the
team’s inability to get the job done all we heard was how positive the experience was and how
much the exposure helped grow the game of soccer in the United States. Do women get a free
pass when it comes to losing in sports?
Absolutely they do. If it were a men’s team that collapsed down the stretch their performance
would have been dissected and torn apart for days on end. Men are expected to excel in sports
where as women are praised for competing. Sometimes former players and coaches weigh in
with constructive unbiased criticism, but for the most part the media projects women athletes
in a positive light whether they win or lose.
In order for women athletes to gain equality with their male counterparts they have to be held
accountable when things don’t go their way. Men don’t get the cover of Sports Illustrated after
an embarrassing loss, but Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, and Lolo Jones certainly did. Don’t be surprised
if a member of the US women’s hockey team graces the cover of an international magazine next
month. It’s time to take the kiddie gloves off when it comes to the coverage of women’s sports.
Either call it like you see it or don’t call it at all.