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My Open Letter to the World Champion USA Women’s Soccer Team: Go See the President. All of you.

Well, the Women’s World Cup is over and we did it! Won the whole thing. Again. Consecutive world champs. And I congratulate you.

I wasn’t entirely pleased with some things.

I was not pleased at all with the 13-0 score against Thailand. I defended the team at home after saying – they celebrated too much – that they can only sub out three players in a game. But that would have been a great time for respect and humility.

I seriously considered giving the team the treatment I routinely give the pro athletes in the Olympics: USA on your jersey does not entitle you to my support.

And team members using dirty language in public? What sort of example does that set for your girls playing youth soccer? (And while people run down the USA for all sorts of sins, real or imagined, mostly imagined, I would think one of the big reasons for the USA women doing so well is laws like Title XI mandating more equal opportunities in women’s sports and we do have pro soccer leagues in the USA.)

And what’s this thing with the taunting? The tea drinking episode after the victory against England? Apparently the one who did it (Alex Morgan) says there was a “double standard” applied to her and women in general. But why do it? Again, do we want the kids doing it? Makes a bad impression for the USA. Raises the specter of the Ugly American.

And politics! Why? Yes it’s a free country and I would defend to the end a person’s right to advocate for causes and candidates – or against them. And I concede President Trump is a polarizing figure. He does and says things I do not agree with, either.

But the ENTIRE TEAM ought to do something that might bring a tiny dose of peace to our nation – and we could sure use it:

They ought to ALL go see the President. And be civil about it. Save the politics for afterwards. Why? Time for a story:

One of the few things President Obama did that I agree with was the opening up of the National Easter Egg Roll. In 2009, my wife and my sister-in-love sat at computers clicking constantly for those short opportunities to order tickets to the Easter Egg Roll.

I recalled as a kid reading in the My Weekly Reader (remember that? I used to be able to read the tiny print for the teachers and showed one one time that I could do it!) about the national Easter Egg Hunt and I assumed those kids there were relatives or friends of congressmen, etc. (That was probably right.) I figured I’d never get to actually attend one. (And yes it was awe-inspiring to be on the front lawn of the White House!)

Well, in 2009, we got in and all of us went to the White House. But on the way to the greeting place, security headquarters if you would, we were standing at the corner, waiting to cross the street (I think we were on the National Mall) when there was a screaming motorcade with what had to be the longest car I have ever seen. Someone said: There’s the President!

Sure enough – the long vehicle turned the corner and there he was: President Barack H. Obama! I could see him through the window. I could not believe it – it was exciting.

I tell this story as my readers know I was not and still not crazy about the 44th President but you can bet all you have in your wallet that if that vehicle had stopped and the President had said: Give you a ride to the Capitol and the Secret Service will get you back to the White House – I’d had done it!

It was and still is an honor to meet the President. (No, I’ve never met any President, past, present or future.) And it should not matter who the Chief Executive is.

If the women’s soccer team wants to increase their support and for women’s soccer in general and perhaps earn that equal pay they want so much, why alienate millions (about 60,000,000!) voters who voted for Trump?

Why not be peacemakers? “Blessed are the peacemakers” Jesus says in Matthew 5.

Why not tune down the rhetoric? You can. With one act.

Just decide: Whether we agree or disagree – we’re all going to excitedly meet the President! Build bridges, don’t burn them. And women’s soccer will be the better for it. So will the nation.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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