I talked about one of the reasons why I was cheering for Nadeshiko Japan to win the women’s soccer gold medal, but I didn’t really talk about what I was afraid of if they lost. Well, this is it; just as when Japan defeated the U.S. in last year’s World Cup, their loss in the final Olympic match has prompted a storm of ignorant Americans to post racist comments on Twitter, making vulgar connections between a soccer game and Pearl Harbor or Hiroshima. Just as “Olympics,” “soccer,” and “We are the champions” became trending topics on the social network, so too did the terms “Japs,” “Pearl Harbor,” and “Hiroshima.”
With Japan’s defeat on Thursday, the U.S. women’s team won the Olympic gold medal for the fourth consecutive time. And while the players held mutual respect for each other, and congratulated each other at the end on a game well-played, some disappointing American “fans” on Twitter did not behave the same. When Japan defeated the U.S. in Germany last year at the Women’s World Cup, one of the worst tweets I remember reading was to the effect of “Japan may have won the World Cup, but the U.S. scored the first two points with Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” referring to the two atomic bombings during World War II. Well, this year’s tweets did not fail to live up. JapanProbe got some great screenshots of the wonderful variety of ignorance and hatred.
best worst part of all? This all took place on August 9th, or, the 67th anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing. However, it’s still important to remember that this isn’t representative of the feelings of all Americans, or even the majority of them, but rather just a subset of really stupid ones who think a soccer game is somehow connected to a war that ended over 60 years ago.