At the top today is defender Shelina Zadorsky.
Ramble of the Day
Since I’ve more or less been cataloging my lack of productivity this week (and exhibiting it with pretty bare Hoddles), I will admit that I faced much of the same distraction yesterday. However, I did just enough to put together a less full, but definitely not bare Hoddle.
For its year-ending issue, Harper’s Bazaar UK is doing a series on the women who shaped 2020. For its cover story, Yrsa Daley-Ward profiled actress Lashana Lynch, who will play 007 in the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die. It serves as an introductory profile of sorts, and is absolutely worth the read. I will spotlight just one excerpt, though:
Initially, when the Bond opportunity came about, Lynch had reservations about joining another franchise [after Captain Marvel] – about getting lost “behind the man”, as she puts it – but on speaking with the producer Barbara Broccoli and the director Cary Joji Fukunaga, she understood that their intentions ran alongside hers. Before filming began, she sat down with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was there to infuse the script with a fresh female perspective. Lynch wanted to ensure Nomi was subtly drawn, believable, perhaps even a little awkward. She set out to portray the truth of being a Black woman –someone she might know; someone in her family – avoiding the two-dimensional view that can be so easily conveyed on screen or written in scripts.
“A character that is too slick, a cast-iron figure? That’s completely against what I stand for,” says Lynch. “I didn’t want to waste an opportunity when it came to what Nomi might represent. I searched for at least one moment in the script where Black audience members would nod their heads, tutting at the reality but glad to see their real life represented. In every project I am part of, no matter the budget or genre, the Black experience that I’m presenting needs to be 100 per cent authentic.”
I think it says a lot about Lynch, and the many other actors of color that do. Considering Lynch’s satisfaction with her No Time to Die character, it probably isn’t the case here, but I think a lot of credit has to go to actors for creating three-dimensional characters from underrepresented groups. Screenwriters, directors, and producers continue to set up actors of color to play characters that fit in stereotypes — Rami Malek has spoken about rejecting roles playing terrorists, and Ana de Armas was initially skeptical about her role in Knives Out because she received a very limited description about her at-home nurse character. These actors have to do the work of reversing, or rejecting, that stereotyping, and while that benefits us all, it also represents a failure of the others in the ecosystem.
Links of the Day
A Sporting Kansas City player tested positive for COVID-19.
Disability Rights UK criticized the FA for excluding disabled people from its new diversity code.
FIFA is set to limit the influence of agents with a requirement that they only represent one party in a deal.
Championship side Sheffield Wednesday had a 12 point deduction reduced to six after the club broke spending rules.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin asked FIFA president Gianni Infantino to change the handball rule.
A longer read: Ed Aarons interviews Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, the team’s latest teenager on growing on the pitch and off the pitch for The Guardian