All the talk after the United States Women's National Team semifinal win over England in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup should have been about the American's crisp play, resilience and march toward history Sunday in Lyon.
Instead, the talk centered on star forward Alex Morgan and whether or not her tea-sipping celebration after what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the USA's 2-1 win over the Three Lionesses was distasteful.
(Spoiler alert: It wasn't.)
As Morgan and the USWNT prepare to face the Netherlands in the World Cup Final on Sunday, the star striker was asked about the (faux) outrage surrounding her celly, and she delivered a perfect rebuttal to critics of her and her team.
Alex Morgan doesn't understand why everyone is getting so angry about her 'sipping tea' goal celebration against England. pic.twitter.com/4bAlqBMMIJ— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) July 5, 2019
“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 and have to do something, but it always needs to be a limited fashion,” she said. “You see men celebrate all over the world in big tournaments, you know, grabbing their sacks or whatever it is.
“When I look at sipping a cup of tea, I’m a little taken aback and kind of laugh about it to see all the criticism. So, I’m a little disappointed about that.”
The criticism of Morgan came from those who believed she was mocking England's tradition of drinking tea, but she says it was meant to mock all the gossip or "tea" being spread about the USWNT.
“My celebration was actually more about, ‘That’s the tea,’ which is telling a story, spreading the news,” Morgan said, via Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel. “It wasn’t a hit to England in any way.”
Morgan and the USWNT have been the focal point of conversation over the last month in France. From President Donald Trump scolding winger Megan Rapinoe to the hub-bub surrounding Morgan's celebration, the USA has been a lightning rod for "tea" during this World Cup.
Rapinoe, who sat out during the semifinal win over England, roasted her teammate's critics for their ridiculous and eye-roll-inducing outrage, something she knows a thing or two about.
Be sure, should the USWNT complete their bid for back-to-back World Cup titles Sunday, the celebrations won't be subdued. Nor should they be.