On the second day of USA Sevens I receieved a few tweets concerning the music choice… and now a formal letter.
February 15, 2012
USA Sevens LLC
2711 Centerville Road, Suite 400
Wilmington, Delaware 19808
Re: Music at Las Vegas 7’s
Dear USA Sevens LLC,
This past weekend of 7’s rugby was one of the best yet! Finally, rugby is making a noteworthy appearance on mainstream television and getting the exposure it deserves. Surely its exposure will only continue to grow as we
get closer to the 2016 Olympic Games. American rugby could not have gotten to this place without the support of you, USA Rugby, NBC, and a host of other dedicated organizations.
As I’m sure you know, the USA women finished second overall in the tournament, losing a close game to Canada in the early afternoon final on Sunday. It was a well played game and fans from all over the country cheered on
the USA women as they lost a well fought, 14-5 battle against our neighbors to the north.
A number of the women on the field that day give their entire lives to rugby. Several of them are now professional rugby players hoping to be part of rugby’s debut in the Olympics in 2016. Others – and hundreds more in the stands – work full-time jobs and give most (if not all) of their free time to training. They spend countless hours in the gym, on the pitch, kicking through goal posts, passing at whomever or whatever will catch their pass. They work tirelessly for the chance to suit up for their colleges and clubs on the weekends, their select-side teams in the spring, and maybe – just maybe – for their country.
So imagine, for a second, how those athletes must have felt when Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” started playing at halftime during the final women’s match of the tournament.
The international women’s games were not broadcast, all but three of them were played outside of the stadium, and even the final game did not get the 10 minute halves that are normally enjoyed during a championship match. While disappointing, female ruggers from all over the country are unfortunately accustomed to those circumstances. But please, do not add insult to injury by playing patronizing tunes during and following the final
women’s match. If you cannot celebrate and promote the female athletes that have given so much of themselves to wear the red, white and blue, at least refrain from mocking them.
At best, the soundtrack for the women’s games was an oversight that carried with it a subliminal, though unintentional, insult. We sincerely hope that next year you will be more conscientious of the broader message
such an oversight can send to such a large portion of the rugby community.