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Bird1812

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Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 4,894
Reply with quote  #1 
 
2008-08-28

US women’s soccer Swedish coach refuses White House

Pia Sunhage, head coach for the US women's soccer team

The US women’s soccer team’s Swedish coach has refused a personal audience with President George Bush.

Pia Sundhage might have led the the US women’s team to Gold in the Beijing Olympics, but says she is not interested in going along to meet Bush with other Olympic Gold medallists.

Speaking to Aftonbladet newspaper, Sundhage made it clear that she doesn’t share Bush’ politics and isn’t interested in meeting him.

But saying ‘no thank you’ to the White House has not gone unnoticed in the US and Sundhage has been deluged with media interest there.

However, seeing as the Swede is all set to renew her contract as the US women’s soccer coach, she did not wish to make any further comments as to her personal reasons for passing up a chance to meet the president.



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morenoar

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1,453
Reply with quote  #2 

No we will see if our Country is Truely, the land of the free and the land of having a choice.  Can you imagine how many people have wanted to do this but are to PC. 


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JohnR

Registered: 03/24/04
Posts: 6,793
Reply with quote  #3 

I am of a mixed mind. On the one hand, she is not a U.S. citizen. On the other hand, she does represent a U.S. national team. One would expect a team that wears the red, white, and blue to respect the institution of the Presidency.

ironman

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 1,932
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR

I am of a mixed mind. On the one hand, she is not a U.S. citizen. On the other hand, she does represent a U.S. national team. One would expect a team that wears the red, white, and blue to respect the institution of the Presidency.

Vewing this as a non-american I agree with you on this,I would like a national coach to meet a head of state when asked to. Even if there are conflicts between political opinions between the two there is nothing preventing a civil meeting between the two to talk about a subject which the country should have pride in which is winning the gold medal in Beijing.

MrSoccer

Registered: 01/25/04
Posts: 8,693
Reply with quote  #5 

I have free will also. My free will tells me she is a peace of shitte and we should find a new coach. I will never watch another US womens soccer match again until she is gone. That is my right.


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mzbrand

Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 1,726
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR

I am of a mixed mind. On the one hand, she is not a U.S. citizen. On the other hand, she does represent a U.S. national team. One would expect a team that wears the red, white, and blue to respect the institution of the Presidency.

The US has a long tradition of venerating leaders who speak their minds and stand on point.

I would expect someone representing the US to be independent, speak her mind, and do what she believes is the correct thing.  I think Pia is representing us well.

I don't believe that her citizenship bears on this question, and that Pia's actions are more in line with American ideals than most of the patriotic rhetoric in recently.
AttackingMid

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Registered: 03/25/04
Posts: 1,498
Reply with quote  #7 
Very poor form.

AM.

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AFB

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Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 6,361
Reply with quote  #8 
It was not wise.

There is a tradition of athletes who have accomplished greatness to go to the White House to be honored.  It is the athletes who are being honored by the representative of the country for their success. 

Unlike many countries who have a a Head of State and a separate head of the government, these two offices are combined in the United States.  To understand the roles of the two different offices think of the British Monarch and the Prime Minister.  When the President honors the teams he is acting as the Head of State bestowing the thanks and recognition of the country.  To spurn that is to in essence spurn the country.

Over the years many have gone who were outspoken critics of the person in power.  They recognized that such honors are not for the benefit of the person in office.

In was reading the comments of those over on the BS forum.  Many seemed to justify Pia's conduct by say it was her "right" to express herself and not go.  That is in truth a very silly argument.  It is your "right" to walk down any public street and insult each person you meet if you so chose.  Simply because we are a nation that will tolerate such behavior does not mean that such behavior is wise or appropriate.

I doubt any will argue she should be punished by the government for her conduct, which is all a "right" truly means - the ability to do some act without fear of retribution by the government.   I also have no doubt that most Americans will see the snub as a sign of immaturity and an expression of disdain for the country as a whole, in the same way most Americans see those who protest by burning the American flag.  That is another "right", but one that only serves to alienate the actor from the body politic.

No, it was a poorly thought out expression, a very unwise thing to do.

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Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

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coachkev

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Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 13,589
Reply with quote  #9 

Reagan made more sense in his final days than Bush ever did in 8 years.

craigl

Registered: 02/12/06
Posts: 875
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSoccer

I have free will also. My free will tells me she is a peace of shitte and we should find a new coach. I will never watch another US womens soccer match again until she is gone. That is my right.



Dito.   Unless there is more to the story than meets the eyes (not likely).  If that turned out to be true... I reserve the right to change my mind.

P.S, I'm 25% swedish...  Dump her now.

NTXtrainer

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 143
Reply with quote  #11 

Fire this idiot

Franco

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 734
Reply with quote  #12 
 I would not hire her! She wears the Red, White and Blue as the coach. Regardless if you agree with the president's policies, he is the commander and chief of this country. He sits in that chair of authority and deserves respect as a leader. She is not an American but is being payed well to represent the Americans. So don't be a hypocrit coach and quit and give back your tainted American dollars. This is not the time and place to stand up against American policy and use the team as personal messager. What if she decides to not play against countries she personally has problems with or take it easy on countries she alligns with, those are not her decisions. She has the right to say no and to disagree and the right to quit such a team. i can't believe she would want to represent the USA if we are that corrupt. She has the right to quit at any time, but I would not hire her to represent the stars and stripes and her employer should have that right as well. I think it should be in her contract that she has to attend and positively support ceremonies that are approved by the USSF to honor the team's accomplishments. This is soccer, a sport that is suppose to bring us together and she is using it for something else, to springboard her own agenda, she is not bigger than the team. That's what happens when you go outside the family.

I don't want to get into politics, but I would guess (don't know for sure) that both McCain and Obama, and past presidents would disapprove of her actions. Send her back to Sweden, she is only a soccer coach.

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Franco

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 734
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzbrand
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR

I am of a mixed mind. On the one hand, she is not a U.S. citizen. On the other hand, she does represent a U.S. national team. One would expect a team that wears the red, white, and blue to respect the institution of the Presidency.



I would expect someone representing the US to be independent, speak her mind, and do what she believes is the correct thing.  I think Pia is representing us well. I think she is foolish and I no longer condone her wearing the RED and WHITE and BLUE as Swedish coach of American soccer. I would rather lose than win with her. The Olympics should not be used as political leverage. That's how we ended up with those slaughtered athletes some years ago. Represent the American well...what a joke Her job is soccer, not politics.

I don't believe that her citizenship bears on this question, well I believe it does. I beleive when in Rome you do as the Romans do. If she does not like what we do then she should not be our coach. She is hypocrit if she takes that money to coach the Americans. If she would quit because of American policy, I could respect that, but not draggin the team down into this mud. and that Pia's actions are more in line with American ideals than most of the patriotic rhetoric in recently. To call it American patriotism, I think you have to be an American to protest American policies. Osama BinLaden protest American policies, is he a patriot?

 If I protest Chinese policies do I become a Chinese patriot? If Sweden disagrees with American policy and she protests then she may be a Swedish patriot but not an American. 
 
As a son and as an adult, I may not always agree with my Dad, but I should ALWAYS respect him as my dad. By her going to the White house does not mean she agrees with him on everything, it means she respects the office and the symbol. She has spit on it as far as I am concerned.

 
 This act is a selfish act and an attempt to get herself noticed and she is seeking attention. Its not about policy that she disagrees with or she would step DOWN from her job as the soccer coach of such an axis of evil country like the USA.
IF Osama Bin Laden asked my to be his soccer coach, I would turn him down BECAUSE I DISAGREE WITH HIS POLICIES. If Osama was a ruler of country and that countr''s soccer organization asked me to take over the program, I would turn it down because I disagree with that countries policies. How would I look myself in the mirror if I thought they were that WRONG , but I took the money. That would be the ultmate sign of protest for her to quit her job AND to give back her money and donate it to some charity.



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Lensois

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 844
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco
she is only a soccer coach.


Here's the key phrase out of all of this.  She is only a soccer coach.  Basing her retention as the coach on this issue is completely ridiculous.

It's not as if this is the first time anyone has refused to meet with a President.  Anyone remember when Green Bay Packer Mark Chmura refused to meet President Clinton?  Anyone every up in arms about FDR snubbing Jesse Owens?
Franco

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 734
Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lensois
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco
she is only a soccer coach.


Here's the key phrase out of all of this.  She is only a soccer coach.  Basing her retention as the coach on this issue is completely ridiculous. No its not. Part of her responsibilities is image and representing the USA as the official soccer team of this country.  The word ONLY refers to her as her duties fall in that category, not politician, not a political columnist, not a rebel, not a congressman,  not a Senator or labor union leader, she is ONLY a soccer coach representing this country and if she want to be one of those other things, then quit and take up the torch. To me its not ridiculous. If I am hired to fry burgers at McDonalds and I am the best in the world, but I scratch my ass while doing it, I do not represent my company well and SHOULD be fired.

It's not as if this is the first time anyone has refused to meet with a President.  Anyone remember when Green Bay Packer Mark Chmura refused to meet President Clinton? Their uniform says Green Bay Packers, not USA, not even the USA Green Bay Packers, not even the Green Bay Paskers of the USA. Their colors are not USA and they don't wave the American Flag around when they win. The rest of the WORLD does not compete agains the Green Bay Packers in hopes or defeating USA. When the players make accomplishments they don't say they ARE HONORED FOR BEING ALLOWED TO REPRESENT THE USA""""BIG DIFFERENCE"""""  Anyone every up in arms about FDR snubbing Jesse Owens? I don't know what your are talking about and don't see how it applies. But even if FDR did something, two wrongs don't make a right. Jesse Owens represented this country and I am sure he did not agree with everything either. Sports should not be a political sounding board

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EricMcGrath

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 7,792
Reply with quote  #16 
"two wrongs don't make a right"

In purely logical terms, if a wrong is a negative and a right is a positive, then two negatives do indeed make a positive

- x - = +





Just lightening the mood. Politics on a non-political forum is a surefire way to kill some of the joy of being on that forum



Now let us relax, once again, in the awesome power of music
Lensois

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 844
Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco
she is only a soccer coach.

To me its not ridiculous. If I am hired to fry burgers at McDonalds and I am the best in the world, but I scratch my ass while doing it, I do not represent my company well and SHOULD be fired.


So what do you do if your ass itches at work?  That tough not to scratch.

Anyway, I really am not as fired up as you about it.  Probably makes me a bad citizen.  We agree to disagree.

Quote:
BIG DIFFERENCE


OK, just so I have the rules right: as long as I am not representing my country I can stiff the President on an invite to the White House and that's all right?  If this year's NCAA men's and women's national champions refuse an invite as well that is cool?  Really, not taking the piss, I just want to know if it's acceptable for anyone not wearing the "red white and blue" to bail on a Presidential invite.

Quote:
I don't know what your are talking about and don't see how it applies. But even if FDR did something, two wrongs don't make a right. Jesse Owens represented this country and I am sure he did not agree with everything either. Sports should not be a political sounding board


Time to do some reading.  Jesse Owens represented this country but FDR couldn't be bothered to meet him or even send him a telegram.  Wonder why.  Sure, it's long and not much can be done by getting worked up about it...kind of like the current situation.  I feel this is all rather petty.  You disagree vehmently, which is your prerogative.  We won't ever agree. 

As for sports not being political, why exactly do President's invite teams and individual athletes to the White House.  Think there's no political motive behind it?  Think again.
95n96Dad

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Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 248
Reply with quote  #18 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"

Seems to me that PIA has as much right to refuse to meet GWB as he has to refuse to meet her.
AFB

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Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 6,361
Reply with quote  #19 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95n96Dad
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"

Seems to me that PIA has as much right to refuse to meet GWB as he has to refuse to meet her.


Having a right to do something and doing the right thing are very different.

I agree, Pia has the right to be rude, infantile and petty.  She has the right to have the soccer program made divisive when it had a chance to unify.  She has the right to take the moment of glory the players would have had and rob then of some attention.  She has many rights.

No one disputes her "rights".

The issue is not her right, but whether what she did was correct.  To say she has a right to act as she did hardly justifies her conduct. 

__________________
Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."
JohnR

Registered: 03/24/04
Posts: 6,793
Reply with quote  #20 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFB
The issue is not her right, but whether what she did was correct.

AFB and I are in perfect agreement on this, although we are polar opposites politically.

This was not the correct decision (although I would not fire Pia for the offense).
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