Wednesday, June 29, 2011

US women's soccer: No diversity so where is the outrage?

I admit I am not a soccer fan but we have been inundated with US women's soccer and the world cup. This is the whitest least diverse squad I have ever seen. It makes the BYU sports teams look like the University of Memphis. There is not a single black or Asian player. There is one hispanic surnamed player who looks like a blond barbie. This is in contrast to the men's squad that has hispanics, blacks and Asians. That squad looks like America. Yet I have heard not a single word of outrage among the usual suspects. Where is Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Or even Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi? Yet Germany (muslims), Canada, the Brits, Brazil all have diverse squads. I have not looked at all the team photos but I would not be surprised by a diverse Swedish, Columbian or Australian squad either. I would be surprised by a diverse North Korean or Nigerian squad (but maybe they have diverse tribal groups). But that the US is not diverse is a travesty. It is hard to imagine that there are no world class minority women soccer players in the US. I would have thought that Title 9 would have increased these numbers dramatically. So please someone: what is going on?


Anonymous said...

Maybe all the ethnic girls in the US are too busy looking up to celebrity personalities/ "role models" like lindsey lohan and kim kardashian and don't want to be labeled "athletic" or "tomboy" or even worse stereotypes female athletes are subject to. Maybe our media should spend more time glorifying female athletes, and then more girls would aspire to excell at sports instead of beauty pageants.

Francis Gouillart said...

Yes, the US wmoen's soccer team is not very diverse indeed. Sadly, it probably represents the demographic bias of women's soccer infrastructure in the US today. Having said that, watching accomplished women from twelve nations playing in front of large crowds in Germany on global television networks marks a tremendous progress for gender diversity.

H.A. Black said...

Maybe but do ethnic girls take as role models non-ethnic women like those two? I would have thought the Williams sisters and the WNBA would have a larger impact - but I am probably woefully naive.

I also think that the Women's World Cup is uplifting in general but still the issue of diversity here needs to be confronted.

One Radical said...

"So please someone: what is going on?"

Perhaps the most qualified players to play for the World Cup team were mostly White?

I think you're right though. We shouldn't worry about winning or being the best, we should be more worried about the team not looking like a color rainbow of diversity! After all, diversity is strength, and more important that actual outcomes.

Do we need to implement Affirmative Action, or look into disparate impact?

Would you rather have America represent us with the BEST players, or, ONLY represent our demographics?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint you but most national sports teams are not diverse. The US basketball team is about as diverse as the swim team; meaning not very. Grassroots and youth outreach programs are one thing but
if we start putting people in national teams simply for diversity purposes, our competitiveness will suffer.
Like you said, you d'ont know much about female soccer.

Anonymous said...

I know you think you sound "anti-racist". But to the average person, you just sound anti-white.

Why are you so anti-white?

H.A. Black said...

Whoa there. Me anti-white? I just asked the obvious question. Where ever I look I see girls of all sorts playing soccer from pre-K through college so why isn't it logical to ask why the US women's team is all-white? I can understand a team that is mostly one color or the other but all-anything? There are white players on the basketball squad and even blacks on the US swimming team Anonymous and Radical. I am one of the last people you could accuse of wanting affirmative action or forced diversity. I was simply curious regarding this particular soccer team. I do not follow soccer and if the explanation is simply that this happens to be the one point in time when all the best players in the US at each position is Anglo then so be it.

One Radical said...

"Where ever I look I see girls of all sorts playing soccer from pre-K through college so why isn't it logical to ask why the US women's team is all-white?"

It seems you wouldn't ask this question if you didn't think there was a problem with the team being all white sir. I highly doubt you would ask this question if the team were all black, or all Hispanic, right? Diversity doesn't actually mean diverse, it means "less white".

For the record, have you asked where the diversity in the summer Olympics is? I mean, it seems there's a LOT of blacks, well, ALL black sprinters and high jumpers and hurdlers. Is this a problem too? Or is there some covert racism against non-blacks?

"I do not follow soccer and if the explanation is simply that this happens to be the one point in time when all the best players in the US at each position is Anglo then so be it. "

This contradicts the first statement (you say you always see a diverse group of girls playing, then say you don't follow, so which is it?) I quoted and seems to be said with sarcasm; i.e. "the ONE POINT in time". I think you're being insincere here. You seem to value diversity more than success, but ONLY because the team is all white.

And for the record, Shannon Box is half black, though she doesn't look it. She was raised by her white mother when her dad left them, but she made up for it by majoring in African American studies. Does she count?

H.A. Black said...

Enough is enough. Shannon Box counts. If you read my postings then you would figure out that I would say the same about any team that is selected by individuals (rather than determined by timed heats) that happens to have turned out 100 percent anything. Being a black free market advocate I have always favored discrimination by the market rather than by individuals.

One Radical said...

So either this post is farcical, and I didn't catch it, or you are literally ONLY asking why there are so many whites and generally concerned as to why more minorities aren't playing soccer, rather than not making the team.

Is this correct?

Anonymous said...

One reason I believe we don't see diversity at the higher levels of Women's Soccer in the United States is because the sport is primarily a suburban past-time. Unlike the rest of the world, the US does not participate in the sport across the entire population. So, for the most part, if your parents don't introduce you to the sport early-on, you tend not to participate. Another reason why I believe you don't see as much participation from Black females in sports like soccer is the disproportionate amount of obesity in the Black population. There are a lot of excuses made about the facts. Even if you look at our current Women's National Team, the team appears to have gotten a lot bigger over the years weight-wise. Our team appears not to have the kind of speed that it used to have compared to previous teams. As a nation, we know we have major problems with weight and fitness and health. From my perspective, just like many of our problems we face, we don't plan to achieve world-class results, so families tend to go for themselves and leave huge groups of our country behind. I see our team as a group of great women who I was so happy with throughout the entire tournament. Even with the loss to Japan, they showed that they were devoted to the success of the team. I hope they reflect and are happy with winning the silver medal at this World Cup. This team was one of the best teams I have seen represent our country. So, White, Black or whatever, they were representatives of our country and they showed so much to the rest of the world. Sad to say, so many people of our country didn't even watch many of the great games they played.

A soccer fan said...

While I agree that there was a definite lack of diversity on the squad that was at the Germany World Cup, as someone pointed out Shannon Boxx is half-black, therefore representative of diversity on the team. She was in the starting lineup in all but one of the World Cup games this year and has been on the national team for many years. As a casual fan through the years, there has always been "some" level of diversity (more than this year). Brianna Scurry and Natasha Kai come to mind. Hopefully the lack of diversity will be a cause for change in the years to come. It didn't "look" right.
P.S. As someone who works with ethnic youth, many do look up to celebrity personalities (of all races and ethnic backgrounds).

Anonymous said...

Concerning the Swedish team:

It consists, contrary to your assumption, wholly of ethnic Swedes. The most "ethnic" Swedish Natl. team member was a recently-retired player who was adopted as a baby from South Korea. They *do* have many lesbians, though, if that counts.

The Australian team is wholly of European descent. The Norwegians had one player of not wholly norwegian descent.

Clarence Gaines II said...

Think you might enjoy this article: "U.S. women's national soccer team is missing the color of America"

My response to the article: Very important article. Thanks for sending it my way. Plenty of black kids play soccer in the early years and at the recreational level. Problem is at the club level. My 11 year old son's club soccer team is quite diverse, but one expects that in California. Latinos & whites comprise the majority of the team. 2 kids of black ancestry and one bi-racial asian/white kid fill out the roster. The first tournament he played in, not one black kid was on the roster of the first two teams we played. Since then, i've seen a representative number of black kids on the teams we've played against. Most, not all of the Black kids, are the best athletes on the field. As I traverse the club soccer scene for the first time, the cultural diversity of the sport and the number of Blacks who participate is something that I will take note of, and may blog on.

Jürgen Klinsmann wants to "formulate a style of play for the Stars and Stripes based on the cultural identity of America. " When I hear him sing that tune, I wonder what the hell he's talking about. When my AYSO all-star team would play an all-star team from a mostly Latino community, the coach of the team would talk about how these kids & their parents live the sport. My reply to that was , "so what!" Give me some young, Black, athletic kids who are as passionate about soccer as they are about football & basketball, and I'll debunk Jürgen's cultural thesis. I understand what he's saying, but if he & USA soccer want to impact the future, then start some grassroots programs in inner city neighborhoods, like baseball is trying to do. AYSO is a great grassroots program, is very affordable, but they're missing the barrios and ghettos. Latinos of all income levels in LA make sure their kids play the sport, but poor, black kids don't play soccer. USA Soccer needs to understand that the Black athlete is the greatest untapped resource in impacting the game of soccer in the USA. George Vecsey thinks "Chicharito plays defensive back for a junior college in Texas & Chicharito is a point guard in high school in California. " I agree!

In a previous tweet, I referenced Robert Woodard's book, "Black People Don't Play Soccer? Unlocking American Soccer's Secret Weapon:" Here's an independent review of the book:

Anonymous said...

The reason you don't see blacks on soccer teams because it requires to much work

H.A. Black said...

To(o) much work? Huh?