The Beautiful Game

“Of course we should form a women’s pro soccer league in Canada.”

Yes, we should. But not like how we did women’s pro hockey.

This time, let’s make it work for the players and for the millions of girls who form pro soccer’s growing fan base. It should also work for Canada, of course, which won Olympic medals in 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio, and hosted the Women’s World Cup in 2015 where we set the tournament and team record for attendance in the process, with 1,353,506 and 54,027 respectively.

Luring over 50,000 fans to a single soccer game in Canada is a big deal. For just one women’s soccer game, it’s evidence that even six years ago, a market existed for pro women’s soccer here.

But that was before Friday. Without even blinking, it seems Canadian women have risen from zeroes (they were beaten 9-0 by the US in their early Olympic forays) to heroes.

First, though, did you see the Swedish and Canadian players sing their national anthems before the opening kick on Friday? The entire Swedish team were white, blonde and blue-eyed. I mean all 11 of them. Talk about a mono-culture. Meanwhile, the 11 Canadians  had three Black women, one trans player, and the rest looked a bit like what Barack Obama called “mutts like me.” Sweet are the uses of diversity.

Even sweeter was hearing Donald Trump rail against the US team’s bronze medal performance last week, calling his own countrywomen “a radical group of Leftist Maniacs.”

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