July 6, the U. S. women’s national soccer team defeated Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The U.S. had not won the tournament since 1999.
During the game, the team set several records, including most goals scored in a women’s final, largest victory in a women’s final and fastest goal scored in a women’s final.
Additionally, Carli Lloyd set a FIFA record for the women’s finals by scoring the first hat trick in a final, and the first hat trick in a men’s or women’s final since 1966.
She scored her third goal from 56 yards away just 16 minutes into the game.
Following the game, the official Twitter account of the White House tweeted a video of Barack Obama calling the team.
“Watch @POTUS call the @USSoccer_WNT to congratulate them on their World Cup victory. #OneNationOneTeam,” the tweet read.
Team U.S.A. made the nation proud.
Fans watching the game, on the other hand, did not make the nation proud.
During and after the game, Twitter erupted with hateful tweets toward the Japanese team and Japan in general.
“This is for Pearl Harbor,” read one.
Twitter was bombarded with tweets talking about how this game was payback for Pearl Harbor.
In fact, Pearl Harbor was actually trending on Twitter due to the high volume of tweets mentioning it.
“Japanese soccer game right now is more like Hiroshima 2.0,” read another tweet.
FIFA, the international organization behind the tournament, has a mission statement that declares the purpose of the World Cup:
“FIFA’s mission is develop football everywhere and for all, to touch the world through its inspiring tournaments and to build a better future through the power of the game.”
Now whether they are able to accomplish that mission is up for debate.
But American fans who feel it is necessary to use the result of a soccer match to post racially charged online comments are wrong.
“Why do so many Americans lack class? #PearlHarbor is trending because of the soccer match. No wonder the world hates us. Grow up people!” read one tweet.
“Pearl Harbor is trending worldwide to bleed us dry of any goodwill we might have garnered towards Team USA #USAvJPN,” read another.
In the United States, we have been blessed with the right of freedom of speech, but do we ever take that too far?
The championship game had nothing to do with war or hate.
It was meant to be a game that inspires the world to create a better future.
Some American fans that were appalled by these remarks might say our words have ruined that for now, but hope is not lost.
Let’s celebrate the victory of our nation’s team, and let’s celebrate Japan for its success in the tournament.
The world is already in turmoil. Instead of tearing others down, let’s work together to bring the world closer together.
Whether we are playing soccer or tweeting about it, cheer for the game.