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U.S Women's Soccer Team Bounced in Round of 16

August 7, 2023Bailey Flanders


The U.S. Women's Soccer Team faced right-wing mockery after losing to the Swedish national team in the round of 16. This narrative has been amplified by multiple sources, including social media platforms. The criticism targeted the team's perceived "wokeness" and was fueled by their decision to stand in silence during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Rolling Updates

Our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence brief auto-update every few hours with fresh analysis:

Headline Issues

1. Mockery from Right-Wing

  • Critics on social media, particularly right-wing individuals, mocked the U.S. Women's Soccer Team lost.
  • The team was called "woke" and un-American by individuals on social media, particularly on platforms like X (formerly Twitter).
  • The decision of the players to stand in silence during the national anthem further fueled the criticism.

2. Megan Rapinoe's Penalty Kick

  • Megan Rapinoe missed a crucial penalty kick during a game against Sweden. This was significant because Megan Rapinoe was seen as the face of the Women's soccer team, and was the leader of efforts to increase pay for American female athletes. 
  • Her missed shot could have given the U.S. Women's Soccer Team a significant advantage.
  • The penalty kick became a focal point of the narrative surrounding the team's defeat, regardless of other aspects of the game that led to that penalty shot.

3. Donald Trump's Animosity

  • Former U.S. President Donald Trump has shown animosity towards the U.S. Women's Soccer Team, particularly towards Megan Rapinoe.
  • Trump's negative attitude towards Rapinoe, a former co-captain of the national team, has been highlighted in this narrative.

In our analysis of the top surfaced keywords related to women's soccer, we have identified some interesting patterns and trends. Here are some insights on why certain keywords appear more frequently than others and how they relate to the competing narratives:

  1. U.S. Women's National Team: The keyword "U.S. women's national team" appears 14 times, indicating a particular interest in the performance and achievements of the United States national team. This suggests that the narratives may have a strong focus on the U.S. team and its players.
  2. Megan Rapinoe: The keyword "Megan Rapinoe" appears 12 times, highlighting the individual player's prominence in the narratives. This suggests that Rapinoe's performance, opinions, and impact on the sport are significant factors in shaping the discussions.
  3. Equal Pay: The keyword "equal pay" appears 12 times, indicating a focus on the gender pay gap issue within women's soccer. This suggests that the narratives may include discussions on the disparities in earnings between male and female players and the efforts to address this issue.
  4. Lindsey Horan, Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle: These individual player names appear multiple times, indicating their significance in the narratives. This suggests that their performances, contributions, and stories may be important factors in shaping the discussions.
  5. Male Counterparts The keywords "male counterparts" and "their male counterparts" appear 8 times each. This indicates a comparison between the performances, recognition, and treatment of female and male soccer players. It suggests that the narratives may explore the disparities and challenges faced by women in relation to their male counterparts.


Womens Soccer amplification distribution by keyword-dynamics

U.S. Media

Insights on Bias in U.S. Media

Our Narrative Intelligence provides valuable insights into bias in U.S. media. In our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence Briefs, we have analyzed the coverage across various political leanings, including left, left-center, right, right-center, and least-biased sources.

The analysis reveals significant differences in media coverage. Left-center sources have the highest bias, with 52% of their coverage leaning towards a particular narrative. Right-center sources follow closely behind, with a 35% bias. The least biased sources provide the most balanced coverage, with only 31% bias. Left-leaning sources have a 30% bias, while right-leaning sources have the lowest bias at 22%.

These percentages highlight the varying degrees of bias across different media sources. Left-center and right-center sources exhibit double or triple the bias compared to least biased sources. It is crucial to consider these biases when consuming news to ensure a well-rounded understanding of the narrative. Our Narrative AI and Narrative Technology can assist in navigating through these biases for a more comprehensive perspective.

Womens Soccer amplification distribution by bias

U.S. Media

Note: Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs update every few hours. Very likely, the Narrative Analysis data visualization depicted in the graphic above will have changed as well.

Image Credit for Article Header: Lorie Shaull, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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