Racism in Sports — It’s not just the men

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the US Women’s National Soccer Team.  This past weekend there was a friendly between the US and Canada and one of the American players was the subject to racial slurs while she was on the field.

Sydney Leroux was born in Canada to a Canadian mother and an American father and wanted, from a very young age, to play for the US team.  This is undoubtedly because the US team would have been by far the greatest team in the world during her formative years and has developed quite the legacy.  (I would argue that Brazil has the greatest women’s player of all time).

Sydney is also not white.

So, last year when she played in Vancouver she got greeted not only with taunts about her being a Judas for going to play for the US but also with racial slurs.  She gets these slurs on a regular basis online as well.

Anyway, she scored an easy goal this weekend in overtime and pointed to her US Crest on her jersey and got a yellow card for it.  One of the tamest actions I’ve ever seen to earn a yellow card, and really, in response to the boos she’d gotten all game long and for her entire career, it’s so tame that I am surprised it earned notice at all.  But there you are.

After the game she went to twitter to say: “When you chant racial slurs, taunt me and talk about my family don’t be mad when I shush you and show pride in what I represent. #america

So everyone’s in a bit of an uproar about it all.  I always thought Canadians would be better about this sort of thing than the US is, and I am even more surprised to see it so prevalent in the women’s game.  But there we are.  I suppose the most important thing to get out of this is that Sydney’s twitter feed is terribly amusing.

https://twitter.com/sydneyleroux/status/341339503425896448

Blame Canada! USWNT liveblog

uswnt-canada-june-2-2013-toronto

6:37 And the game is over.  What have we learned in this rematch?

Canada are sore losers and USWNT is the best.  BAM.

6:36 Leroux, the Canadian who is now American, scores!

USA 3 – CAN 0

6:35 Camada still pushing pretty hard.  I imagine it’d be a major morale boost if they could get something out of these last few minutes, but the US is shutting them down.

6:34 A minute into 3 minutes of overtime.

6:33 Great cross from Canada leading to the only shot from Canada, but way, way off.

6:32 US basically playing keep-away with a few seconds and injury time left.

6:30 Corner comes to nothing.  But they come back at goal and earn themselves another corner.  USA has gotten so many corners this game.

But this one, like the others, doesn’t yield much.

6:28 US a bit sloppy with passes, Canada trying to be aggressive.

Corner earned for the US.

6:25 83 minutes and Canada has yet to get a shot off, much less one on goal.  They look much better than that stat would imply.

6:24 Press on for Morgan.  I guess they feel comfortable only 2 goals up with 10 minutes left in the game?

6:22 Abby gets in a tussle with Buchanan. And she’s all smiles.  Just grinning broadly.  It’s lovely.

6:21 Alex Morgan is in the top 10 scorers all time for USWNT and she’s quite young.  Fantastic.

All I could really ask for is a goal for Abby for her birthday.

6:20 Straight into the wall.  TAKE THAT, CANADA

6:18 Foul called against Mewis.  And it’s totally bullshit.  On the edge of the penalty box.  Well dove, I suppose

6:16 Leroux on for Heath.  Leroux was born in Canada but plays for the US.  So, she’s not popular with this crowd.

6:14 And on the rebound from the corner MORGAN BAMBAM

US 2 – CAN 0

6:13 Canada comes right back at the US and looking pretty dangerous.  Another sub from them and a well-earned corner for them.

6:12 MORGAN!!!

US 1 – CAN 0

6:11 Great chance for Canada, but the ball has no pace when it’s finally shot.

6:10 Another substitute for Canada.

6:09 Canada gets a little something together up front, but nothing much comes from it.

6:07 Nothing from the corner.  My TV is being annoying.  There’s a storm.

Foul means a good threatening position for a free kick, but hot damn that Canadian goalkeeper is there like BAM.

6:05 Beautiful run forward by Morgan, passes it in to Cheney, but Cheney can’t do much with it.  But!  Another corner.

Mewis is on now, which means we’re losing the awesome Crystal Dunn.

6:04 30 minutes left.  Canada subs a new forward.

6:02 O’Reilly offside.

6:01 Morgan gets up, but wastes her cross.

Pretty impressive that US has ensured that Canada has yet to find a way to get a shot off.

6:00 The pressure from the US has definitely gone up a notch.

Cheney tries from distance, but no pace, not on target.

5:58 No real threat during that corner, but it earns them a second.

Short corner, whistles goes off, retake it.

Fantastic header, great pace, but the goalkeeper is there.

5:56 Great passing, blocked, gets the US a corner

5:55 Alex Morgan gets past all the defenders, looks like a great opportunity, but the goalkeeper comes out and is stopped.  Tripped up.  Should have shot it.  Too many touches.  Come on ladies, get it together.

5:53 Morgan gets off a shot on goal with absolutely no pace on it. Easily stopped.

5:52 Can’t help but wonder how this game would look different with Pia.  Not sure they’d be playing better, Pia definitely had some weaknesses as a coach.  But whatever mojo the US had under her seems to be understated throughout this game.

5:50 Canada come forward, which the crowd gets very excited about.  Again, nothing comes from it.

Is it weird that in my mind the US is a bunch of individual players, but Canada is pretty much just a bunch of red avatars fror Canada.

Sinclair called offside. (See what I did there?)

5:48 Abby mentioned that it’s quite windy and that they’ll be playing with the wind during the second half.  So let’s hope that makes a difference for them.

5:47 Players are back on the field

5:45 Some stats for you, Canada:US

Shots: 0:3

Shots on goal: 0:1

Fouls: 7:4

5:36 From Tumblr

1st half thoughts:

  • Finally seeing the centennial kits.  Long overdue and I’m glad it’s not white shorts.
  • Those red kits are exceptionally bright.
  • Can we put something on our passes please?
  • I thought McLeod was hurt?
  • Canada is bunching in the middle on defense, if we get it outside we can make shit happen.  
  • OMG guys Tobin can get aggressive alert the press!!…Calm yourselves.
  • Stay on your feet Abby.
  • Cheney I could watch you hit long balls all day.
  • The counting is awesome, some of you need to get your panties out of your ass.
  • Missing KO’s overlapping runs.
  • The CB’s aren’t as on point as I would like, but not really detrimental either.
  • I love how Tobs and HAO can seamlessly switch sides. 
  • Yeah Dunn totally can’t hold her own against bigger players.  Hush yo moths doubters.
  • Cheney will cut you.
  • I love seeing Barnie come off her line like that, not usually her thing.
  • HAO I missed you last year, I’m glad you’re back :)

0-0 at the half

5:32 US not really playing as well as one might hope, but it’s a very hostile crowd.  They don’t look panicky, but they also don’t look as organized as Canada.

5:30 Nothing from the corner but Canada attacks again.  Not much action resulting and the US is back in solid possession.

5:28 Barnhart comes well out of the goal to stop a promising attack from Sinclair.  Very nicely done, but gives away a corner.

5:26 Good pressure near goal from the US, but they aren’t really coming close to scoring.

Canada steals it in the US half, but US gets it back quickly.  Again over-passes it forward and loses it.  Calm down ladies, strategy is just as important as aggression.

5:25 Nice series of passes from the US under intense pressure from Canada.

US gets forward, but good defense from Canada.

5:22 This is really what I like to call an Unfriendly.

Injury, Dunn kicks a ball into a Canadian’s temple.

5:21 Second corner in a row for US.  They spend a bit more time setting up for it.  Great deal of shoving.  Nothing comes of it, again.

5:19 Ooh almost a beautiful situation.  Dunn gets a great cross but the header from O’Reilly is blocked.  They earn a corner.  Nothing from that.  But they earn another corner.

5:17 This game has been very physical.  Canada has quite a few fouls already.  Their 5 midfielders are really keeping the attacks rare and not very solid.  They don’t seem to have a real offensive energy going yet.

5:16 And nothing comes from the corner.  The Canadian goalkeeper is doing quite well.

5:15 Wambach again denied.

Dunn wins us a corner.  I LOVE HER.

5:13 US free kick from midfield comes to nothing.  Canada threatens, but it’s cleared.

5:10 The ussoccer.com live coverage either is not updating correctly, or the play-by-play suffers a 5 minute delay.  That’s forever!

5:09 Another foul on the part of Canada, but the US fails to make anything of it.  Some back and forth.

US giving it away with some sloppy long passes, but tend to get it back, so I guess you can’t complain too much.

5:07 Canada apparently benefitted from the “unfair” loss and finishing with bronze.  The injustice made the nation really come behind the team.

Canada is being a little more aggressive now. Action on the US side.

I am loving this Crystal Dunn lady.  She’s aggressive, young, and fantabulous.

5:05 Barnhart easily handles the corner and the action moves quickly to the other side of the field.  Nothing from the American attack, Canada bringing it back through midfield.

The US offense looks a little sloppy in their offense.  Aggressive, but not really strategic.

5:03 Threat from Canada leads to Rampone kicking it out of danger, but giving away a corner.

5:02 Wambach earns a free kick in a dangerous area, but awkward angle.  Lots of jostling, the ref is trying to keep it calm.  O’reilly takes it.

Nothing interesting comes of it.

4:59 It’s very depressing to me that there’s no large online commentariat devoted to this game.  It’s way more exciting during the World Cup.  Come on people, what’s more fun on a Sunday than this?

Canada nicely picked off a pass, but Barnhart (Goalie) had it under control.

4:55 US a lot more offensively threatening, but not in any sort of convincing way.

Abby apparently is excited to be the enemy, according to the announcers.

4:54 Wambach threatening well again, but nothing comes of it.

4:53 Wambach gets up, but her attempt at a cross goes straight to the goalkeeper’s hands.  She and Alex Morgan seem to be connecting well, though.

4:52 It’s a shame that it takes so long for rematches to happen in the international women soccer.  I mean, rematch between Canada and USA shouldn’t take a year.

Nice cross by Canada.  They seem to be stronger in the midfield than I remember them.

4:50 And we’re a few minutes in and the teams are still warming up.  Some younger players on the field for the US which is nice to see, as our team is a bit old.  Nothing exciting happening just yet.

4:45 Info from the official blog:

  • The USA-Canada match will be broadcast live on ESPNews at 4:30 p.m. ET. It will be the USA’s first match in Toronto since May 25, 2009, a 4-0 U.S. victory at BMO Field. Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter at @ussoccer_WNT.

  • Abby Wambach is on 155 goals and is just three away from tying Mia Hamm on the world’s all-time scoring list. Canada’s Christine Sinclair comes into the game with 145 career goals, meaning the duo has scored exactly 300 goals between them.

  • The USA is ranked #1 in the world. Canada is tied for #7 with England.

  • The USA is 6-0-2 in 2013. Canada is 4-3-2 in the 2013.

- See more at: http://www.ussoccer.com/social/wnt-blog.aspx#plckblogpage=BlogPost&plckpostid=Blog%3Ad64c9a0e-f4da-40cf-ab0a-d80aab1b0a00Post%3Af4b2cbe5-7ec5-4fe3-9f2b-ebc54cdee46d

4:40 So, I just finished vaguely following the US v Germany men’s game, which we won, but it served only to prepare me for the US vs Canada WOMEN’S game.  Which is starting right now.  Just as soon as they get this whole anthem situation.

Apparently the game sold out in less than an hour because Canada is pretty awesome.  And they’re pissed at being beaten by the US during the Olympics.  Isn’t it awesome that they care?!