The United States may not be the world’s premier soccer power, but the 2022 World Cup has presented yet another opportunity to show just how great and unique America is to the rest of the world.
Team captain Tyler Adams was confronted by an Iranian reporter at a press conference who was angry that Adams was mispronouncing “Iran” but far angrier that Adams was an American who was proud of being an American. Protests have been raging against the Iranian regime (again), and Iranian officials have had to threaten the team’s own players (and their families) to get them to sing the country’s national anthem before the games, turning the country’s matchup against the U.S. into a political proxy war.
How could Adams dare be a proud American without being pressured by his government? How could he dare be proud of “representing a country with so much discrimination against black people?” The haughty Iranian reporter wanted answers, and Adams provided them.
“One thing that I’ve learned, especially from living abroad in the past years and having to fit into different cultures and kind of assimilate into different cultures, is that in the U.S., we’re continuing to make progress every single day,” Adams said. “Growing up for me, I grew up in a white family with obviously an African American heritage and background, as well. So, I had a little bit of different cultures, and I was very, very easily able to assimilate in different cultures.”
There is no country on this beautiful planet that is more diverse than the U.S. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or any other personal background, anyone can embrace the American creed. It is no coincidence that oppressed peoples, such as those in Hong Kong protesting Chinese tyranny, so often wave the American flag. Nor is it a coincidence that Iranian protesters were rooting for their own team to lose while Iranian officials executed protesters who took to the streets.
America won that game, but America will always win that comparison of freedoms and ideals. State mouthpiece journalists hate us, and protesters want to be us. We wouldn’t have it any other way.