Why is the National Women’s Soccer League cancelling games?
Sports have an amazing, unique way of making a worthwhile impact in society. From helping children, communities or even countries, sports can make a difference on a daily basis. They’re a billion dollar business, bringing an immensely positive impact on local economies, chiefly through tourism. The New York City Marathon for instance boosted the city’s economy to the tune of $340 million.
They’ve created jobs, brought national unity, have raised awareness of serious societal issues, built role models for youth and keeps them healthy by encouraging children to stay active. The larger the sports organization is, the more lives they can impact. We know the National Women’s Soccer League as being at the top of the United States league system.
The National Women’s Soccer League presents six yearly awards for outstanding achievements dictated by owners, coaches, players, fans, general managers, and the media. Most recent awards include the Golden Boot given to Sam Kerr of the Chicago Red Stars; Goalkeeper of the Year to Aubrey Bledsoe of Washington Spirit; and Defender of the Year to Becky Sauerbrunn the Utah Royals FC.
Those recent awards were from 2019 since 2020 was canceled due to circumstances. But why is the National Women’s Soccer League cancelling their games now? We know there has been a breakthrough in the pandemic but does it have anything to do with the unexpected cancellation?
Last year, the National Women’s Soccer League came under fire a little bit for not listening to their Black teammates as a unified front. It was said that the league lagged far behind the Women’s National Basketball Association in social justice efforts. Criticism wasn’t held on the players but on the league as a whole 一 a league that is predominantly White.
Given how soccer has been structured in the United States, most of the players, Black and White, would have been in chiefly White playing environments for most of their lives. There’s a massive lack of understanding around the history and effects of racism, and education is needed for activism.
During the Challenge Cup, more than one player of the Women’s Soccer League seemed to have a limited understanding of what, exactly, all the protesting was for. It’s clear to the public that sports are a great platform for bringing social justice to the light.
The MeToo Movement is merely one social justice movement to explode on the Internet as a vehicle for sexual abuse and assault survivors to share their stories. It was only a matter of time before we were due to witness their allies through sports.
National Women’s Soccer League cancellation
Team doctor of the United States women’s national gymnastics team, Larry Nassar has been in many headlines lately. He pleaded guilty on July 11 to receiving child pornography in 2004; pocession of such images dating from 2004 to 2016; as well as tampering of evidence by attempting to destroy and conceal the images. Gymnasts including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman have testified against Nassar.
News spreads faster these days, and troubling things are being revealed no matter how far in the past they may be. At some point, everyone needs to be held accountable, right? The National Women’s Soccer League has cancelled all their weekend games after their former head coach of the North Carolina Courage was terminated over allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement, “Recognizing that trauma, we have decided not to take the field this weekend to give everyone some space to reflect. Our entire league has a great deal of healing to do, and our players deserve so much better. We have made this decision in collaboration with our players association and this pause will be the first step as we collectively work to transform the culture of this league.”
Do you think the National Women’s Soccer League is doing the right thing? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!