Victory for the US against Japan in the Women’s World Cup final turned into a Twitter row on Monday after some fans began to relate the win to Japan’s 1941 attack on the US Navy’s Pearl Harbor base.
Pearl Harbor became one of the top trends among Twitter users in the US, attracting thousands of tweets.
“Hey Japan, that one was for Pearl Harbor,” said Cloyd Rivers, in a tweet which drew more than 8,500 retweets and was favourited more than 11,000 times.
The hyper-patriotic account is generally considered to be a parody, but many on Twitter were quick to take up the theme.
“They destroyed Pearl Habor, we destroyed their dreams,” said another user Sean Garcia.
Others referenced the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, with one user remarking: “Someone forgot to tell our US women’s team that we already avenged Pearl Harbor.”
‘Awful human beings’
But many Twitter users also condemned the negative reaction expressed by some fans.
“Pearl Harbor isn’t funny. Hiroshima isn’t funny. Nagasaki isn’t funny,” said Twitter user Taylor Perry. “This isn’t WW2. This is a women’s soccer match in 2015.”
Another user tweeted: “Jokes about bombing, Pearl Harbor and racist remarks are never funny in the first place. Why can’t we all just watch the game and cheer?”
Other Twitter users also rose to the defence of the Japanese fans.
“Pearl Harbor? I thought the atomic bomb was enough reaction for that,” read a tweet.
“You’re not funny. You’re awful human beings,” said Twitter user Ginge.