After the United States fell to Belgium in agonizing fashion on Tuesday in the opening round of the World Cup's knockout stage, Hayes offered an explanation for some of the politically charged criticism toward the global game.
"The aversion that some hold to joining the world in embracing soccer is often weirdly tied to American exceptionalism," Hayes said on his program, "All In." "And once again, this year, a few anti-soccer trolls reared their ugly heads. But they really don't matter, not when the World Cup brings so much joy to many people."
A liberal bringing up "American exceptionalism" will always set off alarm bells on the right, but Hayes still didn't cross the proverbial red, white and blue line until a few moments later.
"And while we didn't win, that's ultimately alright because part of embracing a truly worldwide competition is accepting the fact the U.S. cannot simply assert its dominance," he continued. "Turns out we have to play just like everybody else."
Turns out conservatives didn't like hearing that.
RedState's Erick Erickson, who tweeted Tuesday that "the same people who complain about American jingoistic tendencies during the Olympics are all about USA in soccer," thought Hayes proved his point.
Yesterday I noted that ppl who hate the jingoism of cheering on America in the Olympics are all in for soccer. Yep. http://t.co/qWeFXuRIcI
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 2, 2014
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