Man, this World Cup championship by the U.S. women's soccer team is a tough one for right-wingers and sportsjock hot-take specialists who inhabit radio and TV studios.
You have a team of females, some of whom are openly gay.
Those two things right there are enough to send the barking class into spittle-flecked conniption fits.
But wait, there's more.
Some are outspoken and political, strongly supporting LGBTQ rights.
Some are using their stage and fame for progressive political or social commentary.
Some celebrated goals with unrestrained grandiosity.
Megan Rapinoe, one of the openly gay athletes, used a strong expletive in the negative when asked recently whether she'd visit the White House if the U.S. team won the Cup.
And now Nike has weighed in with an ad praising the U.S. team.
So, to summarize, we have confident, outspoken and successful women, some of whom are gay, dishing out liberal dogma while dissing His Majesty Trump and being supported by an apparel company that employs Colin Kaepernick.
This is a conservative's nightmare, wrapped in torment, topped with torture and served with a side dish of agony.
The loudest sound you hear is heads exploding.
The other is whining from righties who just want sports to be sports again.
- Megan Rapinoe caps spectacular World Cup with game-winning goal, claims Golden Boot
- Trump slams US women's soccer player for spurning potential White House invite
You want someone to blame, GOPers? Try your guy Trump. He's done more to tear down the wall between sports and politics — and the quiet reverence for the office of the presidency, for that matter — than anybody.
Could you imagine an athlete 10 years ago, much less a gay female one, using a sharp expletive when saying she wasn't going to the White House if invited? It would have been viewed as horribly disrespectful. Sports teams went to the White House, regardless of the president's politics, and athletes (for the most part) kept their views to themselves.
In these times, Rapinoe's retort was seen as perhaps a bit jarring in its vulgarity, but not shocking. And there will be more of it in the future, regardless of who is in the White House.
We will be a lesser nation because of it.
It is a price we pay for having a vulgar, disrespectful person in the presidency. The norms we once held sacred, including the choice to bite one's tongue, have been shattered by Trump. The downside to "telling it like it is," a trait that seemingly endears Trump to his base, is that common courtesy and etiquette are tossed in the garbage.
It is the inevitable result of a nation being led by a man who mocked a disabled reporter, continues to viciously deride war hero and honorable public servant John McCain and who flippantly says after being accused of rape, "She's not my type." It's the result of a president who responds to every slight, real and perceived, with a name-calling Twitter rant.
The degradation of societal norms, of common decency, has reached the point that an athlete feels emboldened to respond to a potential White House visit with a crass obscenity.
You can be mad at Rapinoe if you choose, but she's only the symptom of the disease called Trump.