'That's why no-one likes them': Gold-winning U.S. women's soccer team sparks anger over 'gloating' victory T-shirts The Nike-made shirts featured the slogan Greatness Has been Found
10:18 GMT, 11 August 2012
Nike-made victory shirts proudly worn by the U.S. women's soccer team after their gold medal win against Japan last night have caused a backlash from critics.
After winning 2-1, the U.S team returned to the field wielding the American flag while wearing big smiles, and T-shirts with slogans that read 'Greatness Has Been Found.'
Critics, viewers and fans across the globe cringed, panning the 'tacky', 'humility-lacking' and 'graceless' shirts on Twitter.
Greatness has been found: The victory Nike shirts proudly worn by the U.S. women's soccer team after their gold medal win against Japan last night has caused a worldwide backlash
Jerrad Peters, a soccer writer for
Canada's The Score, wrote: 'USA players have donned t-shirts reading
“Greatness has been found.” That, in a nutshell, is why no one outside
the US likes them.'
But for a beloved team, widely viewed as America's own wonder women, the criticisms may be seen as a case of sour grapes towards a country currently charging ahead in medal counts.
Canada's loss to the U.S. women's soccer team on Monday caused its own fair share of controversy, after the referee made several calls toward the end of the second half that left the Canadians not just heartbroken, but angry, according to the Toronto Star.
Forward Melissa Tancredi said: 'I couldn’t believe what happened. That was our game. That was our win. And it was just taken away.'
Christine Sinclair, who scored all
three of Canada's goals, added: 'We feel like we didn’t lose, we feel
like it was taken from us.'
MailOnline commenters have weighed in on the debate, with Rosie from Bootle, England, writing: 'For gods sake, Canada just seem like sore losers to me.
'Why can Usian Bolt act like the most arrogant, cocky, full of himself and rude man on earth, but a bunch of talented football players can't wear some t-shirts Foolishness, probably because they're women. Besides, I'm English, and I like them.'
Loud and proud: After winning 2-1, the U.S team returned to the field wielding the American flag, big smiles and T-shirts with slogans that read 'Greatness Has Been Found,' critics, viewers and fans to cringe
Celebration: The Olympic display of victory shirts with such a definitive slogan has been labelled by commentators as tacky with a blatant disregard for sportsmanship
own Ben Rothenberg, a sports writer for the New York Times, also appeared offended by the teams' Nike victory shirts.
'”Greatness has been found,” but not humility. Gross.'
Members of the team were handed the
shirts immediately after their win, a common ritual for big victories in American team sports.
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After the Super Bowl and NCAA basketball title games, for example, the winning teams will sport victory gear usually branded with the generic 'Champions'.
However the Olympic display of victory shirts with such a definitive slogan has been labelled by commentators as tacky with a blatant disregard for sportsmanship.
Sports Illustrated's Courtney Nguyen tweeted: 'Put those t-shirts away, USA. Keep it classy.'
While no-one has blamed the women on
the team for wearing shirts they were handed, many are angry at the
'go-betweens' for Nike and the U.S team.
The San Fransisco Chronicle wrote: 'They should have realized the way those shirts could have been perceived.
Raised eyebrows: Jerrad Peters, a soccer writer for Canada's The Score shared his thoughts on Twitter
Critics criticize: New York Times writer Ben Rothenberg was one of many to pan the 'humility-lacking' Nike shirts on Twitter
'Wearing a personalized shirt at an
Olympics that seems to rub the loss in face of defeated opponents plays
into the stereotype of ugly Americanism.
For the fans: Nike is selling the victory T-shirts on its website for $30
'If people who were rooting for
the women’s soccer team found them off-putting, imagine the reaction of
the rest of world.'
The gold-winning team's victory shirts isn't the only celebratory symbol that has raised eyebrows during this year's Olympics, however.
During a game against New Zealand, the U.S. women's soccer team capped its victories with cartwheels, front flips and a team rendition of the “worm” – sometimes even during the middle of the game.
New Zealand coach Tony Readings, after her team's 2-0 loss, said: 'I wouldn't like it if our team did that. We try to work on scoring goals. We haven't got time to work on celebrations.'
Tennis star Serena Williams celebrated her Olympic gold with a 'Crip Walk' – a dance that originated with the Los Angeles street gang and later spread around the world.
While her sister Venus, sitting in the stands, looked delighted, Wimbledon, the very proper home of the All-England Lawn Tennis Association, had never seen anything like it, and a few commentators were not amused.
'It was just me,' the U.S. medalist said later. 'I love to dance.'