This article was written by Nollywood actor Chet Anekwe and culled from his blog Faceyourfront.com! In this post, Anekwe touches on the lack of diversity in the 2015 USA Women’s World Cup Soccer team as he relives the very first time he watched a World Cup game, including his observed state of diversity of the players at the time:
“I remember it like it was yesterday.. July 8th 1982….It was the semi-final between France and West Germany. A blistering match of soccer world super powers, filled with all time great players. It has since been recognized as one of the great games in the history of the World Cup. And I watched it live. All of it.”
At the time, the only world sporting events ever shown in the States were the Olympics. So it was the first time I have ever rooted for a non-American team in a sport. And I didn’t watch passively, I actively rooted from France! But why? I wasn’t French and had never been to France. But I felt a connection with that team. I saw myself in them… I realized midway through the game, I was rooting for France for one simple reason, France had black players on the team, Anekwe writes.
However, on the lack of diversity with the 2015 USA Women’s World Cup Soccer team, he wrote the following:
“Countries like France, England, Brazil and Canada lead the way with highly diverse teams. (And yes, I root for all those teams), while the USA fields the least diverse team amongst nations with diverse populations like those countries. Sydney Leroux and Shannon Boxx seem to be the only multiracial players on the US team.
“Now, in the larger scheme of things, especially given the Team’s successes, this is not a critical issue that deserves a national debate. Nor do I feel there is some nefarious causes. However I do wonder where are the young African-America woman in the American team. I know there are social and financial obstacles that push young African-American girls, to basketball, track, and other sports. However I would have imagined there are many wonderfully gifted African-American young ladies who would be great additions to the team and soccer in American as a whole. Why are they not filtering to our national team? Seems strange especially since soccer is the number one sport for young girls in the US. Whatever the reasons, I personally would like to see a more diverse team.”
You can read the rest of the article on: Faceyourfront.com