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Nice piece Katie, but you danced around the race card. There has been chirping in certain circles for some time about the USWNT being raycess, obfuscating that fact behind the convenient guise of being a veteran-laden squad.

And then you read this and wince: “She was just a physical specimen when she was younger,” said Riley. “One thing that happens to American players is that, when they’re so athletic, they can get away with it.” This is probably a fact.

But after qualifying her success as being the product of her natural-given ability (nobody of course says this about Lloyd, et al); there is a backhanded compliment from Riley about her desire to improve every day and her work ethic.

As a white male who has pretty much coasted by on natural ability in every area of my life, I was determined to change that as I raise my young daughter.

As parents, we shouldn’t tell the children they achieve something because they are bright, or smarter; but instead tell them that the success was a product of hard work and battling through adversity. Let them figure out for themselves how naturally gifted they are, while funneling them towards their natural talents. As people we can always put in work, but we don’t always have the ability.

Why can’t black athletes be afforded the same courtesy as the gritty, cerebral white athlete?

Black players are better because they work harder than whites in MOST cases. Perhaps the socio-economic conditions for some cause black athletes in some cases to work maniacally out of a sense of desperation, but the fact remains they put in the necessary work, and it’s time it was recognized as such.

-Ice Bear