US women’s soccer star Alex Morgan, who came under fire for miming sipping tea after a goal against England on Tuesday at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, is defending her celebration.
She called the criticism a double standard for female and male athletes.
“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 or in a limited fashion,” the forward said Friday.
“You see men celebrating all around the world in big tournaments, you know,” she said, giving the example of a male soccer player grabbing his crotch. “And when I look at sipping a cup of tea, I’m a little taken aback” by the criticism.
Morgan added that the gesture was partly in honor of British “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner, whose Instagram posts use the catchphrase “and that’s the tea” while she sips from a cup.
Turner congratulated Morgan and the USWNT on their win in an Instagram Story on Friday.
“Unfortunately, the UK women’s football team lost at the World Cup, and of course, I’m incredibly sad,” Turner said. However, “I’m so honored we lost to such an incredible team.”
She closed the video by saying, “I’m honored that you thought of me. … I’m really f***ing proud of you. Congratulations on your win. And that’s the motherf***ing tea.”
The USWNT also drew the ire of some viewers who thought the players went overboard with flashy celebrations when they crushed Thailand 13-0 earlier in the tournament.
The United States beat England 2-1 and will face the Netherlands in Sunday’s final.