LYON, FRANCE – JULY 02: Alex Morgan of the USA celebrates after scoring her teams second goal during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Semi Final match between England and USA. (Catherine Ivill – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
USA forward Alex Morgan has shone a light on the double standards across men’s and women’s football while defending her tea-cup goal celebration at the World Cup.
The star came under fire when she pretended to drink a cup of tea just seconds after scoring a goal against England last week.
“I feel that there is some sort of double standard… for females in sports to feel like we have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate but not too much,” she said in an interview with the Guardian.
“You see men celebrating all around the world in big tournaments you know, grabbing their sacks or whatever it is and when I look at sipping a cup of tea I’m a little taken aback. You have to laugh about it to see all the criticism.”
Speaking specifically about the tea-drinking action she said: “My celebration was more about ‘that’s the tea,’ which is telling a story… spreading news. Sophie Turner does quite often and she’s one of my favourite actresses.
“So it wasn’t a hit to England in any way.”
Morgan had been accused of mocking the Lionesses with her miming of sipping on a cup of tea.
Chief executive of the US Women’s National Team Players Association, Becca Roux, echoed Morgan’s feelings telling the BBC that gender was an issue in the reaction.
“I think our players are role models and I think some of the things that they get criticised for is just sexist bullshit.
“I love their personas, I love that they are fully who they are. I think they’re still very polite, they respect their opponents, like England, they respect all of the teams that they played.
“I think for both the players I represent as well as all female players, they are athletes – they are not going to tea, they’re going to play sport.
“They are a different breed of human because they are the top athletes in the world. And that is not a gender thing that is just an athlete thing.”