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