Robert B. Charles – US Women’s Soccer Team – Graceless

Robert B. Charles – US Women’s Soccer Team – Graceless

Another web gem…posted at the website of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

A thousand words of commentary summed up with one fitting term:  ‘graceless’


US Women’s Soccer Team – Graceless

Monday, August 7, 2023,

Robert B. Charles


The US Women’s National Soccer Team – let us stipulate, at the top – is an exceptional collection of exceptional athletes with innate talent refined by hard work. Posting an exceptional record, even if they just lost to Sweden in the early elimination rounds at the World Cup. They are also exceptionally well paid, well treated, well sponsored – and, at times, utterly graceless.

Graceless? Yes, the irony is extraordinary – in a dozen ways. The majority of the Women’s US Team (8 of 11 players), including their freedom-loving, purple-haired team captain, worth seven million dollars – refused to sing the American National Anthem or put a hand on their heart in their World Cup opening match against Vietnam – whose players belted out their own anthem.

Think about that for a moment. America is the only country in the world where a female soccer player can pull riches like that, so free she can speak her mind, choose to hate without debate, wear hair any color, pick her favorite gender, invest, protest, and her nation will still defend her.

America is a nation so free and fair that men and women gave hard-earned money – including men like the son of George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson – to make women’s soccer exist, create opportunities where there were none, bring this sport to the fore, and give these kids a chance to excel, make dreams come true, reinforce their longing to be all they could.

America is not Iran, where those who do not salute and sing, goosestep and chant are killed, where a woman without a burka gets executed, and where protesters on her behalf are mowed down by the State’s own machine guns – by the hundreds.

Nor are we China, where people are “disappeared” for lack of patriotism, or for being a minority, or for prayers said, books read, or a social media account. America is not the Mideast, Africa, or Far East, where women do not share the rights of men, and cannot wear, say, or be what they want.

America is not one of the dozens of countries that forbid women to work, live, travel, and participate in society as they wish, where – for example – they cannot even attend games, let alone play them, and heaven forbid earn money having fun on a soccer field, playing these games.

America is not one of those countries, like Communist China, where everything about life is dictated and surveilled – from work and travel to relationships and associations, where free speech, religion, armed self-protection, security in one’s home, due process, equal protection, and fair trials – do not exist. For now, while we must assert them, we still have them.

The irony of this women’s team dishonoring America on the global stage – while living the high life made possible by America’s freedom, prosperity, free will and markets – gets more profound.

The flag and anthem so arrogantly disrespected by these cocksure, privileged young athletes embodies the people who fought and died for them, even knowing some would never understand, not recognize their gift, not appreciate the freedom that their ultimate sacrifice makes possible.

The level of ignorance, failure to grasp history, failure to care or see their proper place in the progression of those who have done far more than play soccer – is profound, stunning, actually.

To some degree, we can blame ourselves – a culture and educational system that has failed, one that allows a girl with fancy footwork to proceed through secondary education, skip college, never knowing how all these marvelous miracles came to be, just crediting herself with wins.

We can sit back and marvel that young people gobble up the unrivaled benefits of freedom and are witless about what made that possible, content to congratulate themselves for all they have, who have likely never “wasted” time walking Arlington, pausing at the Tomb of the Unknown.

But in a larger sense, being silent is wrong. To watch this ingratitude and shrug – makes us complicit in their failure to appreciate. We owe the past, too – the defense of freedoms that define us.

Here is the message for these women – and for all Americans who benefit from what is made possible through past sacrifice: Stop thinking about yourself, stop congratulating yourself, and stop thinking you are the center of the universe. Put your humble hand on your free heart, learn our anthem’s words, and then boldly sing them – because were it not for those who died under that flag, you would have nothing.

Put differently, to err in understanding one’s place in the universe, accidentally overvalue what you contribute, imagine you have the right to disrespect those who made your wonderful life possible – is human. It becomes unforgivable, only if not corrected. At best, this team is…graceless.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.