Nike’s Women’s World Cup Ad Salutes American Women
With the Women’s World Cup kicking off in Canada this past weekend, Nike has unveiled a commercial in support of the U.S. women’s national team that uses one of the most famous classic rock songs by a Canadian band: “American Woman” by the Guess Who.
In the one-minute clip (which you can watch above), we see the stars of the national team -- including Megan Rapinoe, Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach -- exhausted from training for the tournament as the acoustic intro from song plays. After 25 seconds, the familiar electric riff begins, and the team gets its second wind, training harder and making their shots. Throughout the spot, we also see young girls playing soccer in emulation of their heroes.
Still, “American Woman” appears to be an odd choice for Nike to use. The song's lyrics, which include lines like “Don't come a-hangin' around my door / I don't wanna see your face no more / I got more important things to do / Than spend my time growin' old with you,” as well as references to “war machines” and “ghetto scenes,” have long been considered to be both misogynistic and anti-American. But that didn’t stop “American Woman” from reaching No. 1 in 1970 and No. 52 on our list of the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs.
For their part, the Guess Who have denied those claims. As bass player and co-writer Jim Kale said, "The fact was, we came from a very strait-laced, conservative, laid-back country, and all of a sudden, there we were in Chicago, Detroit, New York -- all these horrendously large places with their big city problems. After that one particularly grinding tour, it was just a real treat to go home and see the girls we had grown up with. Also, the war was going on, and that was terribly unpopular. We didn't have a draft system in Canada, and we were grateful for that. A lot of people called in anti-American, but it wasn't really. We weren't anti-anything. John Lennon once said that the meanings of all songs come after they are recorded. Someone else has to interpret them."
None of the controversial lyrics are used in Nike's commercial
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