U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe responded to critics who slammed her teammate Alex Morgan over her tea-cup celebration during their win over England on Tuesday to advance to the Women's World Cup final.
Morgan’s go-ahead goal was the score the U.S. needed to top England. She celebrated the goal by pretending to take a sip of tea, which offended many including some former English women’s soccer stars.
Rapinoe was asked Wednesday whether she had a response to those who said the U.S. wasn’t celebrating the correct way.
“Wah, wah, wah,” Rapinoe said.
“I mean it’s like we’re at the World Cup. What do you want us to do? 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.
“… 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.
Morgan’s celebration drew the ire of some former English soccer stars.
“I expected Alex to grab a goal, but I’m not that happy with that celebration,” Lianne Sanderson, a former member of England’s national team, said on BeIN Sports. “You can celebrate however you want, but that for me is a bit distasteful. … I could be wrong, but it’s based upon playing against England, and we love our tea.”
Faye White, who is a former captain on the English national team, slammed Morgan over the tea gesture on “Good Morning Britain.”
“I wish I was on the pitch to put in a tackle,” White said.
On the tea celebration, Morgan told reporters after the match she just wanted to keep things “interesting.”
“I feel like we didn’t take an easy route through this tournament and ‘that’s the tea,’” she said, according to the Guardian.
The U.S. faces the winner of the Netherlands and Sweden on Sunday in the World Cup final.