U.S. women’s soccer ‘Greatness Has Been Found’ shirts cause a stir

The celebration that took place on Thursday after the US women’s soccer team beat Japan to win the gold medal looked more like the postgame festivities of a Super Bowl than an Olympic event. The parading around with the American flag was standard, but then out came the custom-made t-shirts. Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and company pranced around in Nike t-shirts that read “Greatness Has Been Found” across the front of them. Over the past 24 hours or so, those shirts have been the source of a great deal of criticism.

“USA players have donned t-shirts reading ‘Greatness has been found,'” Canadian writer Jerrad Peters wrote on Twitter after the match. “That, in a nutshell, is why no one outside the US likes them.”

The backlash was not only handed out by writers and fans from abroad, as many Americans also found the shirts to be a tasteless display of poor sportsmanship.  Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times tweeted that the shirts showed no humility and called them “gross,” although he later clarified that his criticism was aimed at Nike and not the US players.

The US women’s team was also criticized earlier in the tournament for celebrating with cartwheels and other displays that opponents and fans thought were excessive. While it is easy to understand the excitement they were feeling at the moment they captured the gold — especially given the heart-breaking loss they suffered against Japan in the World Cup — they probably should have toned it down in retrospect. Olympic competition is supposed to bring sportsmanship to its own level, and it’s easy to see how a celebration that includes championship gear could irritate opposing countries.

H/T Off the Bench

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  • Parthenon Statue

    I understand why other countries would be upset, but America is the land of the free not the oppressed. Our constitution guarantees free speech although at the moment that amendment is being ignored in the name of political correctness.  Our forefathers would be turning in their graves to see what has become of Freedom of Speech.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DVAQ4QLU2737JKVE4BPCHTDJYY Awesome Bill

    No matter how anyone tries to excuse their actions after the win versus Team Japan, the US women (I’m American BTW) acted crassly and without sportsmanship. It was all about them and very little to do with representing the United States at 2012 Olympic Games.

    Since Hope Solo trashed her teammate after being benched in favor of said teammate, these girls have gone out of their way to embarass this country. They don’t represent me and I will no longer support the USOC for as long as they condone this display of utter disregard for what the Olympics are about.

    Spin it any way you want, it was uncalled for and ugly.

  • Judith Brinkman

    Really??? Who cares if people think these girls have poor sportsmanship… They are proud to have come this far. Let them be proud of their victories. If we start banning  Olympians and sports players for celebrating their victories we would just become communists.

  • Liketohearithereitgo

    Difference is, your constitution is moot in other countries.

  • Daniel Merriman

    Usain Bolt is cocky and excessively celebrates every win, some athletes are cocky and some are just celebrating.  When you win as many consecutive gold medals as the US women’s soccer team has then I believe greatness has been found.  Every t-shirt nike makes has some cocky saying on the front.  Anyone who is offended by these shirts are either overly sensitive or just plain jealous, either way they need to get over it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1254465834 Nels Corey Magnuson

    Humility is for those who have earned it.

  • Jonathan Cragle

    Unbelievable that the world is some how offended about what American’s do.  Did they brandish weapons?  Did they have profanity on the shirts?   Did they trash other teams or countries on their shirts?    No, they simply were stating that their win proved to be great.   If you don’t like the shirts then beat them and they won’t be able to wear them.  Until then shut your pie-holes!

  • Jasin Colegrove

    exactly why so many people are leaving your country for ours. Because we actually have a people’s constitution that gives it citizens rights.

    If you don’t like it, then please do us american’s a favorite and keep your trash!