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Inequality in Soccer

Often seen as a level playing field, once the reality of soccer is exposed, it can hit pretty hard. Inequality in soccer, including racism, sexism, and homophobia is a systemic problem from the grassroots level up to the professional ranks.

Paul Pogba, Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma, and Romelu Lukaku have all been victims of racist abuse in the past 30 days and, as this New York Times article points out, next to nothing is being done about it.

This Howler article by Jessie Losch describes the struggles of women in Argentine soccer. In most parts of the world, soccer is still seen as a sport primarily for men, but the recent World Cup and ambassadors like Mal Pugh and Megan Rapinoe have helped to shift the perspective somewhat. Women’s soccer leagues like the FA WSL, NWSL, and Bundesliga have seen increased coverage, the USWNT jersey is Nike’s highest-selling kit, and attendance records are being broken in the NWSL and all over Europe.

These are signs that some progress is being made, but women all around the globe are still fighting for equality—some are even fighting for basic human rights—and we must continue to support that fight.

Illustration by @tammyrinkwest

This story was featured in one of our newsletters. You can see the full email here.