Alex Morgan, star of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT), led her teammates in a shirtless post-victory celebration after beating Canada in a major game Wednesday night.
As TMZ reports, Alex and her teammates were in Frisco, Texas, Wednesday night for the CONCACAF Championship game against Canada, which the Americans won, 2-0. CONCACAF stands for The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football and is the division in which the American women’s and men’s teams compete internationally.
After the not-unexpected victory over the Canadians, Alex and the rest of the team got their party on in the locker room, according to the TMZ source who was there. A shirtless Alex drank champagne while P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass” played. Other teammates also rocked out in celebration.
“Emily Sonnett hit a little nae nae… Kelley O’Hara got in some twerking… and Mallory Pugh gave some fist pumps while chowing down on a sandwich. Good times were had by all.”
— Brandon Thompson (@brandonpromo) October 18, 2018
That the women would party shirtless after their victory is no big deal; after all, they were behind closed doors, they had just won a major championship, and lots of women go out in public wearing little more than a sports bra. But, in soccer, going shirtless carries with it some baggage.
Until a few years ago, male soccer players routinely tore their shirts off in celebration of a goal. However, that appears to have stopped around 2000 or so, according to FIFA, for reasons that are in dispute, and doing so now will result in a yellow card.
Female soccer players, however, rarely (if ever) tore their shirts off in celebration, for reasons that should be obvious. In fact, so entrenched was this unspoken rule that in 1999, when Brandi Chastain tore off her shirt in celebration of the winning goal, like her male counterparts routinely did at the time, it was a huge deal. Brandi would later say that she wasn’t trying to make a statement with her actions, but that she was just caught up in the excitement.
As for Alex, she’s been trying to put some past ugliness behind her. As TMZ reported at the time, the USWNT soccer star got herself into some hot water at, of all places, Walt Disney World. She and some teammates had had a few too many at the Epcot park, and they were escorted out by security. Alex was caught on an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy’s body camera saying, “You guys are lying right now. I can’t imagine what black people go through.”