For the third straight Olympic Games, the U.S. women's soccer team won the gold medal Thursday, defeating Japan in a stunning rematch after their loss at the World Cup. But in a terrible display of ill will, immediately following the match, the terms "pearl harbor" and "japs" began trending on Twitter, showing that even when the Olympics inspire different nations to come together, some people just don't get the message.
After a win like this, it would be wonderful if the two nations came together in a mutual show of respect, especially considering that the Olympic Games were designed to unite peoples of all nationalities.
But that isn't the world we live in. Of course, the U.S. players were highly respectful to their Japanese opponents, but it seems their fans were not.
After the U.S. team won, Twitter exploded with the news, as topics like "Japan 2-1," "We Are the Champions," and "Wembleton" began trending. But alongside those terms, "pearl harbor" also began trending, with many American fans comparing the outcome of a soccer game to Japan's attack on Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. Because of course those two things are related.
"USA Women takes Gold over Japan....yeah take that Japan...that's for Pearl Harbor!" read one tweet by Aaron Besonen. Besonen's Twitter account describes him as "a Christian actor/comedian."
"THAT'S FOR PEARL HARBOR YOU C**TS," read another tweet by a young white man named Kennedy Perrie. Perrie's tweet drew criticism online, with Perrie calling a detractor both "dumb f***" and "dumbass."
Of course, one can't expect the dregs of American society to stop even there. Alongside "pearl harbor," the incredibly offensive slur "japs" also began trending on Twitter, with many young, mostly white, Americans employing the two terms side-by-side.
"That was for pearl harbor!!!!! Stupid japs!! #USAUSAUSAUSA" read a tweet by one Jake Bratcher. Judging by his Twitter profile picture, Bratcher is a white male in his late teens or early twenties. Not exactly surprising.
Another Twitter user, Charles Dominguez, wrote that the game was the "3rd nuke the Americans dropped on the japs" (after Hiroshima and Nagasaki), Dominguez's Twitter profile simply reads, "i do it."
There it is, folks, the low point of the Olympics.
Consider this a public service announcement. Please stop being dumb on Twitter. If not for yourself, then for your fellow Americans.