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SportUSA stars fire back over 'distasteful' act

06:55  04 july  2019
06:55  04 july  2019 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

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USA star Alex Morgan poked fun at England by pretending to drink a cuppa in celebration. England and Juventus forward Lianne Sanderson called the celebration ' distasteful '. Sanderson, working as a pundit on beIN Sports, said: 'I expected Alex to grab a goal but I'm not that happy with that celebration.

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USA stars fire back over 'distasteful' act© Getty Alex Morgan (L) sips tea after her goal. The US Women's National Soccer team has caused quite the stir with its celebrations at the Women's World Cup, and Alex Morgan became the latest to milk a goal in Lyon on Wednesday.

The USWNT's players received plenty of flack for exuberantly celebrating during their 13-0 thrashing of Thailand and Morgan's tea-drinking mime has further divided opinion, with one English footballer branding it "distasteful" and "disrespectful".

USA stars fire back over 'distasteful' act
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On the occasion of her 30th birthday, Morgan was seemingly quick to reference the famous British tradition -- raising her fingers to her mouth -- after she scored the winner in the USWNT's 2-1 victory over England, a game which saw the Americans reach their third straight World Cup final.

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Distasteful definition is - objectionable because offensive to one's personal taste : unpleasant, disagreeable. b : objectionable because in poor taste, inappropriate, or unethical a harmless stroking … but it seems oddly distasteful in retrospect— Richard Sandza et al.

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Approximately 100 million cups of tea are drunk by the British each day-- almost 36 billion per year -- according to the UK Tea and Infusions Association.

However, Morgan said after the game that the celebration was a response to the criticism her team has received during the tournament.

Prior to Wednesday's clash, England coach Phil Neville had questioned the "etiquette" of the American team after officials visited his team's hotel.

"I wanted to keep it interesting," she told reporters. "I know Megan Rapinoe has the best celebration. I had to try and step up this game. I feel like this team has had so much thrown at them and us. I feel like we didn't take an easy route through this tournament and 'that's the tea'."

Rapinoe had a blunt retort to critics of the goal celebrations.

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“Wah, wah, wah. I mean, we’re at the World Cup, what do you want us to do?” Rapinoe said.

“This is the biggest stage, the biggest moment. I don’t think anyone truly believes that we disrespect the game or disrespect our opponents.

"We have the utmost respect for England and every team that we’ve faced and every team that we will face forever and ever. That’s just part of the DNA of the squad.

"With that said, we work hard, we like to play hard and we like to have fun and enjoy ourselves, and these are the absolute biggest moments to do that.”

https://twitter.com/DaviddeCorran/status/1146459884466135041

Morgan's celebration was lapped up by some, notably Hillary Clinton: "Congrats to the #USWNT for earning that tea," the 2016 Presidential candidate tweeted.

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/1146160433050652672

It further emboldened Morgan's status as a national treasure back home in the US. The forward has now bagged six goals this tournament and remains in pole position to win the golden boot alongside England's Ellen White, who trails Morgan on assists.

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There was some debate, however, as to what exactly the celebration referred to.

https://twitter.com/MaxWildstein/status/1146140162176561152https://twitter.com/BrodyLogan/status/1146140137409040384

Many agreed that it was a jibe at England's love for a cuppa, but some saw it as a nod to the Boston Tea Party of 1773 -- the political protests against high taxes on tea that were staged before the American Revolution.

https://twitter.com/johnstons08/status/1146142647716864000

Some failed to properly identify the tea-sipping taunt, comparing it instead to a drag on a cigarette. British comedian Jack Whitehall was quick to comment in this regard.

https://twitter.com/jackwhitehall/status/1146163043572822019

Morgan's celebration proved not to be everyone's cup of tea.

"You can celebrate however you want, but that for me is a bit distasteful," said English footballer Lianne Sanderson, working as a pundit on beIN Sports.

"I'm a big believer in the Americans and how they celebrate but for me this was a little bit disrespectful."

TV presenter Piers Morgan urged the Lionesses to make the US "choke" on their beverage, prompting others to shoot back with taunts about the shared surname between tweeter and goalscorer.

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https://twitter.com/piersmorgan/status/1146147071122190336https://twitter.com/DailySports_1/status/1146143580286857221

There were retorts about America's taste in lager, too.

https://twitter.com/WeahsCousin/status/1146141982479269889

What's not in doubt is that Morgan's toast certainly struck a nerve. And you can bet there were plenty of kettles being boiled in the UK with 11.7 million tuning in to the semi-final clash, according to the BBC -- the highest TV audience of 2019.

The USA will face either Netherlands or Sweden in Monday's final, while England will meet the loser to contest for third place.

As the World Cup reaches boiling point, there's still plenty more drama brewing.

USA stars fire back over 'distasteful' act© PA AAP Alex Morgan, sipping tea.

RAPINOE FIRES BACK AT CRITICS

After being embroiled in a war of words with US President Donald Trump, Megan Rapinoe has become the focus of unprecedented scrutiny during her time at the Women's World Cup.

Her absence from the US Women's National Soccer team's semi-final win over England prompted fevered media speculation as to the reason why Rapinoe wasn't playing. Turns out she had a hamstring injury.

Earlier in the tournament attention on Rapinoe ratcheted up considerably after the 33-year-old unapologetically said she would decline any potential invite to the White House should the US defend its title -- which didn't take long to draw a response from Trump.

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USA stars fire back over 'distasteful' act© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Megan Rapinoe scored two goals to help USA defeat France at the 2019 Women's World Cup.

"Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear," tweeted Trump.

However, having watched her USWNT side reach a third consecutive World Cup final from the bench on Tuesday, the soccer star and social activist was keen to talk about what it means to her to be an American as the USWNT looked ahead to Monday's World Cup final.

USA stars fire back over 'distasteful' act© PA AAP Megan Rapinoe celebrates a goal against France.

"I think that I am particularly and uniquely and very deeply American," Rapinoe told reporters.

"I know that I'm not perfect, but I think that I stand for honesty and for truth and for wanting to have a conversation and for looking at the country honestly," she added.

"I feel very fortunate to be in this country, I'd never be able to do this in a lot of other places but also, that doesn't mean that we can't get better, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive to be better."

Over the years, the Californian has clashed with Trump, calling him "sexist," "misogynistic," "racist" "small-minded" and a "jerk but entertaining."

"I think that this country was founded on a lot of great ideals but it was also founded on slavery," she added on Wednesday.

"I think we just need to be really honest about that and be really open in talking about that so we can reconcile that and hopefully move forward and make this country better for everyone."

The hamstring injury is not expected to rule out Rapinoe from playing in Monday's final against either Sweden or the Netherlands.

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