Last week, Ashlyn Harris and Megan Rapinoe took to social media to express their concerns over a quote in an article posted by the Nutmeg News.
The article quoted Bill Lynch, the owner of the Washington Spirit, as saying,
“We decided over the course of the season that our roster wasn’t patriotic enough and didn’t support our love of the best country on the face of the planet. The Washington Spirit is all about great soccer, community involvement, fanatical devotion to the best country ever, standing for the national anthem, and asking our players to not outwardly display their support of LGBTQ causes. As such, it behooves us to ensure that our roster reflects this.”
Fortunately for the Washington Spirit, the comments aren’t real. The Nutmeg News is a fake, satire site meant to be “The Onion” of women’s soccer.
Harris posted, “Wow You disgust me (sic)” in regards to the fake Lynch comments. Rapinoe tweeted that the comments were “deeply disturbing”. After it was made apparent to both players that the article was fake, Harris deleted her post and Rapinoe tweeted out an apology to the Washington Spirit saying that she didn’t realize the article was fake.
Everything was forgiven and we all moved on.
With the exception of one lingering thought: Isn’t it terrifying that two professional players, one of whom used to play for the Washington Spirit, genuinely believed that this was something that Bill Lynch said?
Lynch has drawn a lot of attention to himself in 2016. His most infamous moment of the year was probably when he prevented Seattle Reign player, Megan Rapinoe’s anthem protest by playing the national anthem while both the Reign and Spirit were still in the locker room before their game on September 7th without consulting anyone from the NWSL or anyone on the team.
Although this was a very petty gesture, one could possibly have chalked up his actions to emotions running high, given that he is a veteran and it was less than a week before the anniversary of a huge disaster for our country. Maybe he was not thinking logically. Maybe he was going to apologize. But then came the uncalled-for “hijack” statement. And then the rival statement from the Spirit players. And then the reminder that when the Supreme Court passed the gay marriage ruling in 2015, the Spirit were the only team to not publicly support ruling because Lynch allegedly (and hypocritically) didn’t want to get personal politics involved with soccer.
I truly detest assuming the worst in people. I pride myself on believing one of my strongest attributes is being able to see the good in even the worst situations. However, now we have two professional athletes who have dealt with Lynch on a professional level who seem to believe it plausible for him to say the ridiculous quote above.
Whether they meant to or not, Harris and Rapinoe have enlightened us with a hint this week. And how seriously we choose to take this hint is up to our discretion.
Stay aware. Stay woke.