Ethnic inequality plays an undeniable role in the growth of young black and Latina soccer players. Invisible barriers arise at every stage, from childhood to their professional careers.
Lack of opportunities and resources is often the first obstacle. The disadvantaged areas, where many of these young women reside, lack adequate facilities to practice and hone their skills.
“Talent doesn’t recognize skin color or origin. But opportunity and access, those are the real battles.”Linda Caicedo – Black and Colombian soccer player
During recruitment, racial bias and stereotyping contribute to the dearth of opportunities for black and Latina girls. They are often overlooked by headhunters, who underestimate their potential based on ingrained prejudices.
In addition, the lack of representation at the highest levels of the sport sends a discouraging message. Black and Latino faces are scarce on elite teams, which could lead young girls to question their place in soccer.
How can we as fans support and advocate for more professional black female soccer players?
As fans, we have a crucial role to play in encouraging greater ethnic diversity in professional soccer. Our voices and support can be catalysts for change. Here are some ways we can help: first, it is essential to encourage and support minority women’s soccer players from the start. Second, we must raise awareness of their struggles and achievements and celebrate them widely. At the end of the day, talent knows no race or gender. The 2023 Women’s World Cup is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate this.
Now is the time to raise our voices and act. We must ensure that soccer, in all its forms, becomes a space of equality and respect.