"These women bust their a**es everyday... the vitriol is astounding" - Rennae Stubbs & Billie Jean King react to USA's FIFA Women's World Cup defeat

Rennae Stubbs (L), the United States Women
Rennae Stubbs (L), the United States Women's National Team (centre) and Billie Jean King (R)

Billie Jean King and Rennae Stubbs reacted to the USA's elimination at the hands of Sweden from the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup on Sunday.

The United States Women's National Team (USWNT) were knocked out from the Round of 16 of the Women's World Cup in a devastating 5-4 defeat on penalties.

In the penalty shootout, Sweden emerged victorious as Megan Rapinoe, Sophia Smith, and Kelley O'Hara failed to convert their penalty kicks.

This defeat shattered the team's aspirations of securing a historic third consecutive Women's World Cup title. For the first time ever, the defending champions found themselves outside the top three positions in the competition.

After the American team's defeat, people were quick to vilify and hurl disgusting comments at them. Rennae Stubbs took to social media to condemn these individuals, expressing her astonishment at the "vitriol" being directed towards the players. She emphasized that the "jealousy and unpatriotic nature" of these comments were truly outrageous.

Stubbs also took the opportunity to congratulate Sweden on their victory.

"The vitriol being thrown at the @uswnt by some people in this country is astounding to me!" Stubbs tweeted. "The jealousy, unpatriotic nature of the vitriol is just outrageous. You should check yourself and your "national pride" before u utter disgraceful words to those that are only trying to do one thing, win for you and your flag."

Reacting to the loss, Billie Jean King took to social media and expressed her thoughts, acknowledging that it was a difficult loss for the USWNT. She praised the team for their unwavering dedication and effort throughout the match.

King also graciously extended her congratulations to Sweden for their advancement in the World Cup.

"Tough loss for the @USWNT. You gave it everything you had, and left it all on the field. Congratulations to Sweden on advancing," King tweeted.

How the WTA, founded by Billie Jean King, made women’s tennis what it is today

Billie Jean King at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships
Billie Jean King at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships

Billie Jean King is a tennis icon, celebrated for her legendary status on the court and her pioneering efforts in advancing women's rights.

King amassed an extraordinary array of 39 Major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, alongside her invaluable contributions to the triumphant US teams in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups.

However, amidst her remarkable achievements, one that stands out prominently is her pivotal role in the establishment of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) in 1973, alongside a group of eight fellow female players.

This groundbreaking initiative was a game-changer, revolutionizing the world of women's professional sports. It paved the way for a truly global tour, providing women athletes with unprecedented opportunities.

Not only did it enhance their prospects, but it also garnered increased acknowledgment from fans, sponsors, and the sporting community at large.

"It was a nightmare," Billie Jean King said. "It was really scary. I was really scared. But I kept thinking about the future. It's clear now that they're living our dream if you know the history."
“We dreamed of having a tour and equal prize money, but we knew it would take a long time,” she added.

In 1973, Billie Jean King orchestrated a momentous gathering of more than 60 women at the Gloucester Hotel in London, a pivotal event that marked the historic birth of the WTA.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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