Soccer is something of an exception. As a country, we’ve historically been unimpressed. We’ve even reserved its more internationally recognized name, “football,” for our own game, which barely involves feet. But it’s made an impact on young Americans—evident in the “soccer mom” appellation—and inevitably, it is gaining in popularity here. After all, soccer’s the most popular sport in the world.
However, according to right-wing talk radio, it’s un-American.
Fox News entertainer and part-time thriller novelist Glenn Beck took a long walk to lump together the World Cup with President Barack Obama. “It doesn’t matter how you try to sell it to us, it doesn’t matter how many celebrities you get, it doesn’t matter how many bars open early, it doesn’t matter how many beer commercials they run,” said Beck. “We don’t want the World Cup, we don’t like the World Cup, we don’t like soccer, we want nothing to do with it.” He then got to his point, and added, “The rest of the world likes Barack Obama’s policies, we do not.”
On G. Gordon Liddy’s show (when did he get a show?), his guest, the oh-so-charming Dan Gainor of the conservative thinktank Media Research Center, stated that soccer, a “poor man or poor women’s sport” (take that Christiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Kaka!) is being sold as part of the “browning of America.”
So that’s it, is it?
It’s not hard to draw a line from conservative opposition to soccer and their ongoing narrative about “taking back America.” You know, before we played soccer. Or before illegal immigration? Or before racial integration?
Where does that line end, exactly? Maybe Glenn Beck can chalk that out for me.
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