What’s the solution to Ann Coulter’s anti-soccer rant?

OPINION Ann Coulter’s musings about the World Cup and how soccer’s popularity being a sign of America’s moral decay suggests that she and I must both…

FILE-Ann Coulter’s rant on the 2014 World Cup went as far as to say it’s a sport that doesn’t foment individuality and competition–equating it to moral decay in the United States. (Photo by Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock)


Ann Coulter’s musings about the World Cup and how soccer’s popularity being a sign of America’s moral decay suggests that she and I must both be from Texas of the 1900s.

The Ku Klux Klan used to march through our downtown main drag, and who’s to say who was under those white hooded robes. Signs of the Old South and slavery were rampant in Texas. Hanging of blacks and Latinos often drew outrage from the safe distance of the pages in “The New York Times.”

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Was it any wonder then that conformity to being white or attempting to look white, blue-eyed with blonde hair, was so rampant that it was one of the few ways to “make it” in the American society of that time?

Soccer balls also didn’t exist in Texas unless you counted the cojones of castrated steers.

That Texas doesn’t exist anymore, except in the jumbled up mindsets of a few people. So I have to wonder if Ann Coulter isn’t really one of those Texans who claim to have been born in New York.

I say that because every so often she writes something that makes you wonder what reality she lives in. Obviously it’s not a reality, but a mistaken illusion of an America that that once excluded individual sports icons like Jackie Robinson, until he and others proved that the reality of an America that included them was far greater than one that excluded them.

Team USA soccer fans celebrate the World Cup in Orlando, Florida.

FILE – In this Sunday, June 22, 2014 file photo, fans cheer after the United States scored a goal against Portugal. U.S. World Cup fever can be in the growing TV viewership ratings registered so far during the games. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

For what she is only now coming to realize is that this was never an America that belonged to the Ann Coulters of the world–but only a cheap motel suite full of mirrors they rented for a while from the rest of the world.

That’s why almost everything happening in America today winds up appearing foreign to her, most recently seeing that the World Cup and soccer have elicited an exciting brand of American patriotism from all parts of our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country that has surprised many and turned television ratings and social media on their ear.

I don’t know what I was more surprised by: Ann’s feeling that soccer signals our nation’s moral decay, or her utter ignorance about sports–not realizing how soccer as a team sport with individual standouts is just another of our athletic games that are part of our pop culture and not some creation from another galaxy.

How can she, as a media person, be blind to the fact that the World Cup has captured the imagination of American sportswriters and commentators, from the famous at ESPN to the obscure at the smallest weekly, in a way that perhaps happens only during football’s Super Bowl week or baseball’s World Series?

And that the stories from World Cup have spanned heroic individual achievement and failure, glorious team triumphs and defeats, and celebrate international brotherhood that exceeds anything to be found even during the Olympics?

So you have to wonder if Ann Coulter wasn’t just putting us all on, for as social critic Ashley Burns put it:

“There is basically no way that this hilariously and pitifully ignorant screed wasn’t written as parody, because it had me cracking up from her very first point about how there is no individual glory in soccer.”

But sadly, I suspect Ann was sober and serious, and this anti-soccer rant was just an extension of the anti-immigrant, anti-anything (that’s not of the homogeneously white, straight, or conservative positions) moat she has dug out to surround her pitiful existence.

And to that I am reminded of what a dear teacher in Texas once told me about dealing with racism and xenophobia:

There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be corrected with another generation or two of obituaries about people such as Ann Coulter.

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