As Fox Sports has been broadcasting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, personalities from Fox Corp.'s OutKick brand, including founder Clay Travis, have been belittling women’s soccer and attacking the United States women’s national soccer team.
Travis is a conspiracy theorist and the founder of the OutKick, a sports and variety outlet owned by Fox Corp. that regularly promotes far-right grievance politics and coronavirus conspiracies under the guise of sports news.
Travis has made sexist comments directed at female professional athletes, writing that “if you can’t tell if a woman is hot or not in her uniform, then it isn’t a sport you should be watching. This means the only acceptable sports to watch women play are beach volleyball, tennis, and stripping.” He has attacked other networks for covering WNBA players, claimed that the league has a terrible “product,” sneered at women who didn't have the proper equipment to compete in their sport, and insisted that teenage boys could beat professional teams of female athletes. Travis has also criticized female athletes for not being transphobic.
Leading up to the Women’s World Cup, Fox Sports aired ads featuring prominent players on the U.S. women’s national team and billed the tournament as “USA vs The World” to promote their coverage. But while many Fox Sports pundits critiqued the USWNT on their performance or tactical approach, OutKick blamed their tournament shortcomings on “wokeness” and other right-wing grievances.
OutKick joined others in right-wing media that celebrated when the USWNT was defeated. Travis and others connected the political beliefs of players like Megan Rapinoe to their lack of success in the World Cup.
Clay Travis and other OutKick personalities attacked the USWNT following their elimination from the Women’s World Cup
After the USWNT lost to Sweden in penalty kicks during the round of 16, OutKick launched into criticism of the team over their supposed left-wing politics. Hosts placed significant focus on Rapinoe, who missed one of the deciding penalty kicks, criticizing her support for social justice causes like equal pay in sports. Much of the commentary blamed “wokeness” for the team’s loss and faulted the team for a supposed lack of patriotism.
- Travis justified his attacks on the USWNT by claiming it was “sexist and homophobic” not to criticize them. He argued, “The women were awful, they performed and failed at the highest level in Women's World Cup history. They should be ridiculed ... I think it's actually sexist and homophobic not to attack these women.” [OutKick, OutKick the Show, 8/7/2023]
- OutKick host Dan Dakich ripped into Rapinoe and women’s soccer in general following the USWNT’s loss to Sweden in the round of 16. Dakich said, “Megan Rapinoe is a self-serving pain in the ass who doesn’t understand that most of us will go back to not caring about her sport because when you watch that sport, it is akin to literally 13-year-olds playing soccer.” [OutKick, Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich, 8/7/2023]
- Travis attacked Rapinoe for missing a penalty kick during the team’s final World Cup match and mockingly told Sean Hannity that either of them could have made that kick before accusing the USWNT of having “alienated everybody.” Travis claimed, “Sean, I bet you could have scored there. I bet I could have scored there. … Here’s the other thing on this: they alienated everybody and they didn’t need to do it.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/7/2023]
- Following the loss to Sweden, Travis bashed the USWNT. Travis claimed, “The descent of the US women’s soccer team from a 2015 World Cup champion that the entire country loved to a far left wing politics-laden team that barely made the top 16 eight years later is an unmitigated disaster. Time to clean house and focus on soccer again.” [Twitter/X, 8/6/2023]
- Dakich speculated that Rapinoe missed a penalty kick on purpose to throw the match. Dakich: “I would ask, did Megan Rapinoe throw the game? Did Megan Rapinoe say, ‘Hey look, this is my last F-you to America.’ … She legitimately looked as if she was fixing the game.” [OutKick, Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich, 8/7/2023]
- Mark Harris wrote an article for OutKick attacking ESPN for a Rapinoe tribute video that aired following the USWNT’s elimination. Harris wrote, “Nobody that loves America kneels for the playing of the National Anthem. Americans living in reality understand this, but Bird, Rapinoe, many members of the USWNT, don’t subscribe to reality.” In reality, Rapinoe’s fiance Sue Bird was filmed discussing Rapinoe’s love for the United States. [OutKick, 8/7/2023]
- Tomi Lahren accused the USWNT of being “crybaby liberal activists” who hate men and criticized them for losing. Despite claiming that she doesn’t want the United States “to lose anything ever,” she said, “Karma is a real bitch, and yes, Megan Rapinoe, I’m talking about you.” [OutKick, Tomi Lahren is Fearless, 8/8/2023]
- Lahren accused Rapinoe of making it really hard to root for the United States. Lahren claimed, “We all root for the USA, don’t get me wrong, even if it is Megan Rapinoe and others that decided to kneel for the national anthem. We still root for this country. It would be nice, though, if those women, who wear the USA on their jerseys, could love the country as much as we do. I don't think that's too much to ask for.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/7/2023]