Megan Rapinoe and her teammates have politicised football in the best way possible

We must pay attention to the intersection between sports and politics, especially in women’s football.

There are quite a few people who think that women entertainers should keep their mouths shut and perform. Whether it’s the Dixie Chicks being told to shut up and sing or Serena Williams being criticised for arguing a call – opinions, grievances and emotions should all be kept silent, and the show should go on. Little girls should be seen and not heard.

Try telling that to Megan Rapinoe.

The Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019 will go down in history for many, many reasons. Not only the incredible quality of the playing, or the incredible viewing figures of the USA vs Netherlands final, but also – and most importantly – because of the politicisation of the tournament. I would even go so far to call it positive politicisation.

Sure, everyone is sick to the teeth of politicians on both sides of the pond, if not globally. However, as they say, the personal is the political. And if you’re a woman or an ally who agrees in the fundamental pillar of equality – equal pay for equal work – then you can’t fault any of the athletes using this global platform as a way of heightening awareness of their cause. If they hadn’t, it would have been a massive missed opportunity. Bad marketing. Bad business.

For example, back in 2016 members of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) filed a class action lawsuit against US Soccer, claiming discrimination in pay. Did you even notice?

In 2017, Norway made history by granting equal pay to its women and men’s national soccer teams. Did you notice?

Ada Hegerberg, winner of the 2018 Ballon d’Or (who was shockingly asked to twerk after accepting her award) refused to play in this year’s World Cup because of Fifa’s gender pay gap. Again, did you notice?

Look, I’m what you could call a Massive Feminist and I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t really recall any of the above happening.

But I’m guessing you’ve heard about that arrogant, pink-haired American lesbian Megan Rapinoe who made the World Cup “all about her”, right? You heard about her saying she’s “not going to the fucking White House”? You heard that she didn’t sing the national anthem, and didn’t put her hand on her heart like a good little American girl. (You then also probably heard about the time that she, gasp, KNEELED!) You probably heard her say that it was “science” that America couldn’t win the World Cup without gay girls. And did you see her, arms stretched, chin up, chest out, celebrating and relishing in the crowd appreciating how goddamn good she is at her job?

I bet you did. You saw her. You heard about her. You heard the crowd chanting “EQUAL PAY” as she and her …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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