Today at the top, we have forward Lucy Quinn. She joined the club last year.
Ramble of the Day
Last week, U.S. Soccer shared a video of WNT defender Crystal Dunn and U-20 WNT midfielder Brianna Pinto having a conversation about being Black players in the women’s national team program. They covered a range of topics in the half hour they spoke, from the importance of representation to how Dunn and her North Carolina Courage teammates have continued conversations and discussed actions to take to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
I could highlight a number of different portions of the video, but I’ll choose one about representation. The conversation stems from Pinto references a tweet from Utah Royals forward Tziarra King.
I’ve always felt some type of way about straight ponytails being the symbol for “women,” especially in sports. I’ve got x amount of soccer trophies in my basement with ponytails and every time I saw that as a kid I thought “this was not made for me.”— Tziarra King (@tziarra) July 2, 2020
She and Dunn talked about their own journeys with their hair, personally framing a conversation about the stigmatization of Black hair.
BP: “I saw a tweet by Tziarra King on the Utah Royals and she talks about representation in soccer and she specifically highlights trophies so I had never thought about it when I saw, but like, trophies have a straight ponytail. I thought to myself, Well, that doesn’t represent, like, my natural hair type, so could you speak on what it was like for you as you grew up, embracing your identity and even your hair or how you represented yourself?”
CD: “...I did see that tweet and I think it’s something that I didn’t think much of so it’s actually really great that she put that out there because it really changed my mindset and now the way I look at how they portray even the emblem for the NWSL. It’s a girl playing soccer and her ponytail is very straight. We have no idea, there’s no skin color of that person, but again, Tziarra has short hair and it’s one of those things where any young girl with short hair is going to see the symbol of the NWSL and see that same sign in trophies and think, Well, that girl doesn’t look like me or I don’t have the same features as that girl, so I can see myself in this sport or playing this game? and I do think representation is really important. It really can change and shape someone’s mindset and mindset about how they feel about themselves trying to play a game that they love.”
There is a lot of reading about the topic out there about the stigma around Black hair, some I’d like to read myself. What is pretty clear, and has been for a while, is that these seemingly small things make a large difference, and though Dunn, Pinto, and King don’t directly mention it, their experiences exist in a world that discriminates against them for their hair. It’s just another layer of the conversation about the importance of representation.
Links of the Day
David Villa was accused of sexual harassment while he was at NYCFC, and the club has launched an investigation.
MLS expansion team Charlotte FC unveiled its name, crest, and colors before beginning play in 2022.
A longer read: Gillian R. Brassil interviews Kara Nortman and Julie Uhrman, two members of the ownership group behind the NWSL’s newest expansion team in Los Angeles for The New York Times