The FIFA Women’s World Cup and Social Media

Zach Woosley | @Ginge The Good: Abby Wambach shares a post-victory kiss with her wife.

U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach celebrated winning the World Cup by sharing a tender moment with her wife Sarah Huffman. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage, it’s another great example of the strides the country is making.

The Bad: Fans and media were vocal about the financial discrepancies between the men’s and women’s tournament.

During last summer’s FIFA World Cup, there was over $576 million in prize money on the line for the teams involved. By comparison, the Women’s World Cup participants were competing for $15 million in prize money. That’s 2.6 percent of what was available for the men’s tournament.

Germany, who won the men’s tournament, earned $35 million. The U.S. Men’s National Team earned $8 million for winning a single group stage match and losing in the Round of 16. The U.S. Women collected $2 million for winning the World Cup on Sunday.

Fans and journalists on social media were quick to point out the discrepancy and use it as another example of FIFA’s general disdain for the women’s game.

Others were quick to defend FIFA based on the large difference between ad revenue, sponsorship and ticket sales numbers between the men’s and women’s tournaments.

The Ugly: American fans cheered victory over Japan with a slew of racism.

With the United States up 4-0 over Japan after 16 minutes of play, Twitter was ablaze with Americans proudly celebrating their team’s performance. Unfortunately, some felt the need to go in a negative direction with their celebrations, referencing Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. There were also plenty of tweets involving references to the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Various news outlets, both domestic and abroad, picked up on the story while plenty of social media users expressed their depleasure with those choosing to celebrate a sporting event by calling back to events that led to at least 137,000 deaths.

Pearl Harbor, which typically averages around 500 mentions per day on Twitter, was posted over 52,000 times on Sunday, according to the analytics service Topsy. Hiroshima was mentioned over 12,000 times, while Nagasaki was mentioned over 5,000 times. Both numbers were far above the usual daily averages.

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