Soccer in America why arent more black kids playing the worlds game

first_img Share Share Facebook Share on Facebook I think a big issue with respect to representation, is the fact that LeBron isn’t just the best in North America, or the NBA, he’s the best in the world. And yes, while players like Jozy Altidore, Darlington Nagbe, Gyasi Zardes, etc. are some of the best American players, they aren’t even close to being considered the greatest players in the world (even typing that for clarification’s sake made me blush). Unfortunately, the Americans that have t… Last modified on Thu 7 Jun 2018 07.05 EDT Share on Twitter Facebook Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 2 3 Share on Facebook Twitter Read more Soccer found Robert Russ when he was in the seventh grade – not that he was looking for it. Like most African American kids at his Washington middle school, he had no interest in the game. Soccer, everyone had told him, was either for white children in the suburbs or Latino immigrants, not kids like him.Then one afternoon someone waved him on to the playing field. By the end of the day, he was in love with a new sport. Report Soon came the taunts from his friends, telling him that he wasn’t playing a real sport. That what he was doing wasn’t really black. That he was wasting his time.“If you’re African American and you play soccer, you get picked on a lot,” Russ says. “People are going to say you’re trying to be Hispanic,” he says.He never cared about the teasing; he enjoyed the game too much. But now that he’s 20 and working with young inner city players, Russ notices how few look like him. He’s sure peer pressure has a lot to do with that. The Cityscape: get the best of Guardian Cities delivered to you every week, with just-released data, features and on-the-ground reports from all over the world | Pick Facebook Facebook Share on Facebook The black Nicola Zigic is probably the best he could hope for. A failing national teamFor the first time in more than three decades, the US men’s team will not be competing at the World Cup. The national team has been unable to develop dynamic, creative players who can compete at an international level. Many see the roots of this failure in the expensive, well-organised network of pay-to-play suburban leagues. Some parents spend more than $10,000 (£7,420) a year on membership fees and out-of-town tournaments. Those competitions are often where college coaches find recruits and national scouts identify prospects. Children in poor neighbourhoods in places such as Washington are priced out. Even the select few who get scholarships struggle with the logistics of reaching training fields far from public transport routes. Twitter As a result, millions of children don’t ever try soccer – including some of the country’s best athletes.“To not be allowing non-white kids to develop shows why we aren’t in the World Cup,” says Amir Lowery, a former Major League Soccer player and executive director of Open Goal Project, a DC nonprofit working to provide minorities with more access to high level soccer opportunities, and level the playing field in youth soccer. “A kid playing basketball and American football can see a chance to play in college, they see a path through,” he says. “If you want to play soccer [beyond high school], there’s no path there. You don’t ever see college coaches at high school games.“Mentally, the kids aren’t even thinking soccer is accessible.”Lowery, who is black, grew up in a middle-class part of Washington’s well-to-do northwest quadrant, exposing him to an elite system. The players he coaches today aren’t so fortunate, and his attempts to recruit basketball or football players are declined. Share on Twitter Facebook Share on Twitter Facebook Mark Lewis came to the US from Jamaica as a teenager, and has always been perplexed at the lack of African American kids playing soccer. As a youth coach, he has spent much of his adult life trying to change perceptions of the game in predominately black DC neighbourhoods such as Anacostia. Several years ago, he became a coach at DC Scores, a non-profit group that mixes soccer with art at inner-city schools. He’d convince kids lingering near his practice sessions to join a team. He even placed soccer balls in his backyard, hoping to spark curiosity in those walking by.“I never see a kid in Anacostia carrying a soccer ball,” he says as he watches the same Washington tournament with Russ. “In the white neighbourhoods you see that every day.”Waiting for a black MessiIt’s often said that the game simply needs to be introduced to black communities, either with the creation of new fields or the addition of school soccer programs. Nicole Hercules once tried to explain soccer to a group of African American kids in her hometown of Rochester, New York. One child gazed at her black skin and asked: Where are you from?“It was such a gut punch. I said: I’m from here, just like you!” Hercules recalls. “But until they see more people who look like them playing soccer, they don’t think they can do it.”What if a great black American soccer player suddenly emerged? “A LeBron James for soccer would change the game for African American kids,” says Russ. Share on Facebook Facebook jhvance Shares341341 As a kid Russ could look up to Tim Howard, the black player who was the US goalkeeper through three World Cup cycles. But Russ, a keeper himself, knows the great American breakthrough star will have to be be a playmaker, someone dynamic. Someone like Lionel Messi. “I think in America we will develop a better Messi,” says Keith Tucker, a longtime soccer coach in Washington’s black neighbourhoods. And Tucker, who is African American, believes this “better Messi” will be black. The problem is just how long it might take. “It’s hard to start a league on this side of town,” he says. “You need professional coaches to start summer camps and bring quality coaching. You need to start kids young. And you need professionals who parents feel comfortable leaving their three-year-olds with. Then you need lots of volunteers to make a league work.” This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Twitter Cities is supported by Keith Tucker believes that a quality league with the hope of a direct path to the US national team would go a long way to creating interest within black communities. Photograph: DC Scores Surfboarder Reply Facebook Share Cities … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Facebook Share on Twitter tonyhibbertsleftleg Race Show 7 more replies 5 Jun 2018 20:57 Thom Lanchbery Share on Facebook Share | Pick Bram Fischer Report Facebook Facebook comments (260)Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. BobBobson Report Jump to comment Eventually, Trump will be guilty, impeached & jailed before finally residing in some middle tier of hell. Report Guardian Pick 18 19 Reply This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Thom Lanchbery What about Demarcus Beasley? | Pick Reply Reply Reply Report Report 5 Jun 2018 21:49 | Pick Order by oldest All Share on Twitter 2 3 I, too, see African, Caribbean and Latin teams all over my citys’ adult leagues. But at the youth level, there are tons of “Honduras FC U11s” and “El Salvador Barca”, but relatively few clubs based around black immigrant communities. This is a total guess, but if you’re a black immigrant kid, you may be trying to fit in with your African American peers (ie, playing gridiron or basketball), while if you’re a Central American immigrant kid, you see that all the other kids who look like you are playing soccer… | Pick 1 turnip2 | Pick 2 3 Share on Twitter Share Share on Twitter | Pick Reply Reply 25 26 | Pick About this content Share on Twitter tonyhibbertsleftleg Facebook Report thespleen tonyhibbertsleftleg Share on Facebook Because they play football? mrpartridgesir Twitter Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Twitter usayup recommendations Mentally, the kids aren’t even thinking soccer is accessibleAmir Lowery, former MLS player 3 4 41 42 ravioliollie Share TradOdox 5 Jun 2018 21:17 | Pick mrpartridgesir 25 Ziontrain Report Report 5 Jun 2018 22:34 Who is Lebron James? 5 6 Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick I wouldn’t say pay-to-play is a huge issue considering the sheer number of hispanic kids that play. It’s probably just not a part of their community. If you go to the park and your friends are all playing basketball, it’s hard to be different. 5 Jun 2018 20:23 Facebook Report Twitter Report Twitter Cesc_12 Bram Fischer | Pick Reply antonyJ Allgoaliesaremad Share Share Share on Twitter Share on Twitter TinTininAmerica Share Guardian Pick 5 Jun 2018 23:31 Reply | Pick Why not feature Jody Altidore? He’s played in the Premiership, he plays in MLS at Toronto and is one of the team’s top players and he’s an American. Share Share on Facebook Twitter 2 3 Facebook Share Comments 260 | Pick Share on Twitter Reply Share on Pinterest Pinterest 3 4 DrexlSpivey Share on LinkedIn newest Reply Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Share on Twitter If LeBron James played football from a young age would he be this ‘black messi’? Facebook 18 19 Share on Twitter 5 Jun 2018 20:51 Facebook Players taking part in a soccer tournament in inner city Washington, DC. Critics argue expensive suburban leagues price out talent in poor neighbourhoods.Photograph: DC Scores Share on Twitter Show 3 more replies 5 Jun 2018 22:34 Share Facebook 0 1 Share on Facebook Reply Share 5 Jun 2018 23:53 3 | Pick Share 2 3 5 Jun 2018 22:07 5 Jun 2018 23:25 25 26 1 Reply Share 0 1 4 5 Dr_Venkman Twitter | Pick Share CaliRoshi SharpeyShuffle | Pick Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Report 5 Jun 2018 21:09 Report Share Share Report Futboluberall The answer is to start your own club’s and league’s. They should not be a business. Do it yourself. | Pick Surfboarder JohnHughes Reply Twitter Share Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter cozumel This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Share on Twitter Facebook Please select Personal abuse Off topic Legal issue Trolling Hate speech Offensive/Threatening language Copyright Spam Other Twitter Report Reply And it is Pulisic or Miazga. Twitter Reply Facebook TinTininAmerica 5 Jun 2018 21:45 | Pick Share on Facebook Topics 6 Jun 2018 5:24 Twitter Yeah but shouldn’t have, given the crack epidemic at the time. Share Share on Twitter Report Report Share on Facebook Twitter Share on Twitter Report Reply tonyhibbertsleftleg 5 Jun 2018 23:52 3 4 thespleen Reply | Pick Share on Facebook um, have you seen the size of a basketball court? Allgoaliesaremad Share on Twitter 5 Jun 2018 22:01 SanguineSunrise Share on Facebook 5 Jun 2018 20:24 I’m west indian-american. It’s a cultural issue, not a pay to play issue. West indians and latinos play together all the time in my city. If African Americans dont want to play that’s their business. There are so many black players across the world who are influential in the sport. It’s up to them to take up the sport if they want it. Share on Facebook Twitter Reply Share on Facebook 0 1 Facebook Twitter | Pick | Unpick Report | Pick Report 6 Jun 2018 5:00 Report Share Report And why not a black Ronaldo? Oh there was one.Welbeck ? expanded Share on Facebook | Pick 3 | Pick Share on Twitter Show 25 | Pick Twitter Share on Facebook Twitter 1 2 ‘White soccer teams don’t pay upfront’: how race unlevelled US playing fields Share on Facebook 30 31 Share on Facebook Report 5 Jun 2018 22:16 Pinterest 1 2 The pay-to play is definitely a huge hurdle, but black youths dream of being in the NFL and NBA, and their heroes are American Football players and basketball players. Facebook Share Report Facebook Share on Twitter 2 3 Twitter Report Cities cozumel Report Close report comment form austinfinn24 Report antonyJ Twitter 5 Jun 2018 21:36 Report Twitter He’s talking about real Football, not NFL Report Toroak Facebook Share on Facebook Children of recent African immigrants play soccer. In the last few places in the US I’ve lived, California, Louisiana, and Minnesota, I’ve always played games with recent arrivals from Nigeria, Somalia, Burkina Faso etc. I understand it’s not the same people but depending on where you live in the US it’s not at all just suburban whites and Latins playing the game. mrg6899 Waiting for a black Messi 2 I suspect that young man or woman is alive somewhere on the planet today. Facebook Reply Facebook 5 Jun 2018 21:22 Threads collapsed features | Pick Teenagers watch a game during a soccer tournament in Washington DC. Inner-city coaches say it’s a struggle to attract African American youngsters. Photograph: DC Scores Twitter Reply Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Facebook 6 Jun 2018 4:55 2 3 | Pick thespleen | Pick | Pick davknigh Twitter Twitter Share I blame Pep Guardiola. Share on Twitter 5 Jun 2018 21:39 Share Share 2 3 Share on Facebook vanityflair Reply Share on Twitter Seems like a great plan, why didn’t anyone else think of that? Report Cesc_12 Very low profile , not exactly the ‘America. black Messi ‘ this guy is waiting for… I’m sure he’ll be here with Jesus eventually. Not the Brazilian one! Reply Facebook | Pick Who says goalie is unglamorous! Nonsense. 5 Jun 2018 23:08 Share on Messenger He will come when he comes. US Soccer is a work in progress. It has changed remarkably over the last 20-30 years. It takes time. Share Share on Twitter NauseatingNeutral 5 Jun 2018 21:59 Inequality 4 5 2 3 Report thespleen Report Twitter Washington DC Share on Facebook 5 Jun 2018 23:36 Twitter oldest Reply This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. 9 10 Facebook | Pick Twitter Share 10 11 Report 5 Jun 2018 Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 5 Jun 2018 22:19 | Pick Reply Facebook 4 Share on Twittercenter_img Reply I came through the US youth system in the 2000’s in the Northeast of the country. I played college “soccer” and got to participate in the NCAA tournament. I am now a father and have my son in the top tier of youth club football in Florida. I can say that this is actually a fairly accurate portrait of US youth football in my experience. African American participation is by no means rare, I played in the US military for a team completely made up of African immigrants other than me. But in the youth system the distinct minority is African American, while the majority of players are white or hispanic. I believe this to be the case for a similar reason that young English players stay in England in the premier league. At home if these young kids play basketball or football they get scholarships first off, for big schools, and that’s a big deal here in America. Secondly, if they even make it for a few years in the NBA or NFL or MLB they can become quite wealthy. So it makes more sense to play the sports that have local pay offs. BrianBraddock 5 Jun 2018 21:59 TradOdox Share Twitter Facebook A LeBron James for soccer would change the game for African AmericansRobert Russ, coach Share on Facebook Share Reply 5 Jun 2018 23:54 Report Facebook BC07 5 Jun 2018 21:02 Reply Tim Howard played for Manchester United and the US national team, but in the unglamorous position of goalkeeper. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images Churches, Tucker says, can provide the community, but not the coaching expertise. City leaders have not made soccer a priority for financially-strained recreation departments, and aside from DC Scores – with whom he coaches – there isn’t an emphasis on soccer in Washington’s schools. Many years ago, DC’s powerful black mayor Marion Barry ordered the recreation department to push youth soccer. For a brief time, it seemed the sport might catch on. Then Barry left office and the initiative died. …and basketball, and athletics, and baseball, and and and… bobfourton BobBobson | Pick Allgoaliesaremad Bram Fischer Enough size to play small sides games or wallie, same as kids play around the world. You don’t need a soccer pitch to play soccer. This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Yes, but it still a white suburbia sport for the most part. It’s a shame that there is not more concern of the lack of black representation in more worthwhile careers such as media, corporate boardrooms, medicine and the likes. Tap dance, sing and dunk that basket ball. Reply Jump to comment ravioliollie 6 Jun 2018 2:53 Facebook Reply 5 Jun 2018 20:21 | Pick Facebook Facebook 5 Jun 2018 20:07 Report | Pick Share antonyJ Share there’s loads of latinos playing in Philly, where I live. But those leagues are not the organized ones with the coaches and scouts that get kids into college. THAT is why it is also about pay to play. Facebook Report Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Sorry there was an error. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact Userhelp Share on Facebook | Pick Facebook Share Share on Twitter Reply 21 22 SanguineSunrise 1 2 This comment reminds me of that sobbing ‘Leave Britney Alone!’ video. Try not to have a persecution complex, you’re a big boy. 5 Jun 2018 21:40 Surfboarder Report Share on Facebook 5 Jun 2018 23:04 Share on Twitter 3 4 Share on Twitter Reply Share 16 17 Twitter Show 2 more replies Im a coach in North Carolina and I only have 2 African-American players on my team, they’re brothers and my best players. My biggest fear is them losing interest in the sport, because they definitely have the talent to play college ball. I coach in an urban youth soccer program and almost all of our players are hispanic, nothing wrong with that, but I’d like more African-Americans on board. Share Twitter 7 8 TomG727 6 Jun 2018 9:31 | Pick Facebook 5 Jun 2018 23:41 Report 5 Jun 2018 22:17 Share on Twitter What IS a white Messi even? There’s only one Messi. What a daft article. And why not a black Ronaldo? Oh there was one. Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Facebook 17 18 Reply Facebook TradOdox 5 Jun 2018 21:54 Allgoaliesaremad 5 Jun 2018 22:52 Report 5 Jun 2018 20:12 TinTininAmerica TomG727 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Did you not read the article, then? nivlek47 4 Thom Lanchbery 6 7 BC07 Share on Twitter Share via Email Share LyntonCrosby Facebook Report Share via Email FullaeIt Twitter Share on Twitter Twitter I came through the US youth system in the 2000’s in the Northeast of the country. I played college “soccer” and got to participate in the NCAA tournament. I am now a father and have my son in the top tier of youth club football in Florida. I can say that this is actually a fairly accurate portrait of US youth football in my experience. African American participation is by no means rare, I played in the US military for a team completely made up of… Why make this a black thing? Again… | Pick Pinterest Twitter | Pick Reply Share septicexception Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Twitter Report Report Reply Share Michael Owen Share on Twitter Is that you, Yaya? unthreaded | Pick Despite a US soccer boom, the sport has made barely a ripple in African American communities. Could unlocking this talent base revive the failing national team? Facebook 5 Jun 2018 23:06 5 Jun 2018 20:44 vanityflair Facebook Twitter Share on Twitter | Pick 8 9 SanguineSunrise 5 Jun 2018 21:56 11 12 Share on Twitter Share Yeah, in Latin America I’ve seen public courts that are multi-use basketball/soccer courts: asphalt courts with hoops/goals and chain link fence around the court to keep the ball from running away. While soccer has boomed in the US, becoming a staple of suburban life, it has barely made a ripple in African American communities. As Russ talks, he watches a tournament played by children from Washington’s poorest neighbourhoods. Of the dozens of kids, most are Latino, and only a handful are African American. It’s hardly representative of a city that is 49% black. It’s a picture that’s repeated across the country. One of the world’s most democratic games, played on streets and in alleys around the globe, would seem a natural fit for America’s predominately black inner cities, where basketball thrives on playground courts. Instead, it’s almost non-existent. Facebook Share Facebook The high school atmosphere has definitely changed overall – soccer is increasing in participation while football is decreasing. At my kids’ school, some would like to dump the losing football program and put the money into the soccer program.Oh, and things kids don’t like are still called “gay.” Somethings never change. 🙂 Report Report NauseatingNeutral malapropriety Twitter Reply JuanKu Reply 14 15 Show 20 more replies Share on Twitter Show 1 more reply Reply Facebook Eventually, Trump will be blamed. CaliRoshi Matthew Carlton 11 12 TomG727 turnip2 There IS a huge concern. Society has not responded either to that but instead subverted and diverted. 5 Jun 2018 21:47 Report Share 5 Jun 2018 21:52 Twitter Twitter 6 Jun 2018 0:10 5 Jun 2018 20:18 mikio44 Twitter 5 Jun 2018 20:34 Share on Twitter Share | Pick KaptPowers Share on Facebook 5 Jun 2018 21:56 5 6 You know Barry was elected mayor again after the crack incident and then served on the DC council until 2014? Money magazine found a CA family paying $17,000 a year for soccer for their kids. It’s expensive. Its about the same size as a five-a-side Football pitch (5 players plus a GK each). This is what a lot of Football players in training. Report Sign in or create your Guardian account to recommend a comment For the first time in more than three decades, the US men’s team did not qualify for the World Cup. Photograph: Ashley Allen/Getty Images Twitter | Pick Report Report 5 Jun 2018 21:58 Facebook View more comments Guardian Pick Share on Facebook 8 9 Share Report Facebook bobfourton Twitter | Pick Show 1 more reply BC07 TinTininAmerica Share on Twitter You sir, nailed it. Share on Facebook Report Reply This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. 13 14 malapropriety bobfourton | Pick Facebook Dr_Venkman Zigic was unathletic, LeBron is faster stronger and fitter then most if not all footballers. Les Carpenter in Washington Share on Twitter Twitter “I think in America we will develop a better Messi” Good luck with that. 1 2 | Pick Share RED333 Twitter 0 1 Share on Facebook NauseatingNeutral Share on Facebook Reuse this content,View all comments > This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Twitter This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. MikeDcLonChi America already did develop a real Messi: to which continent does Argentina belong otherwise…? The tone-deafness of that statement is hilarious. Pinterest 5 Jun 2018 20:22 Reply 5 Jun 2018 22:02 Share on Facebook 0 1 Facebook | Pick malapropriety 6 7 Share on Twitter Twitter This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. 50 6 7 Reply Pep Guardiola won’t pick them 😉 Twitter 8 9 5 Jun 2018 20:44 5 Jun 2018 22:28 Facebook 11 12 Reply Share Facebook Reply | Pick Twitter FullaeIt Report ravioliollie Real football, not forward rugby Wiht helmets… Share on Twitter NauseatingNeutral Share 14 15 malapropriety Reply Share on Facebook KaptPowers Share on Facebook So when’s the next Argentine Messi going to come along? Oh never 35 36 Share Blacks not playing youth soccer is more cultural than financial. As quoted above “If you’re African American and you play soccer, you get picked on a lot…” When it becomes ok in the inner city neighborhoods to play soccer, we’ll see more Black kids playing. And the costs to join a club are set by the individual clubs, not by any national or local governing organization. In Colorado, we have many clubs catering to poorer neighborhoods, and they charge very little. Clubs that charge more do so to make money and supposed prestige for the people running the club. Lastly, the $10k figure is way overstated – that’s an anomaly countrywide. We pay under $1000 in Colorado (and the clubs offer free membership based on low income), though it can be a little more expensive in other states, but $10k is extreme – that takes into account a high priced club (which doesn’t mean they are more talented) and parents choosing to spend a lot on things like buying expensive cleats and traveling extensively.I do like this comment in the article and how innocent it sounds given the true context: “Then Barry left office” – of course he did: he was caught on videotape smoking crack. It’s a lot worst than that. They will do well to keep it under wraps……………… 3 4 2004 called, wants Freddy Adu back. Report Reply Facebook This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. ravioliollie | Pick | Pick Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 5 Jun 2018 22:24 Thom Lanchbery 5 Jun 2018 Reply 5 Jun 2018 22:17 Share Facebook Share on Facebook Twitter 100 Share Twitter 5 Jun 2018 22:07 Share Joel Marcuson 5 Jun 2018 22:13 Twitter It might help the US qualify for the next World Cup if more people from more communities play. Shouldn’t matter what race or religion they are. Share 5 Jun 2018 22:21 Twitter 19 20 13 14 Twitter mrpartridgesir Share Reply Joel Marcuson I doubt there will ever be anyone as good as Messi again. | Pick FullaeIt | Pick Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter 5 Jun 2018 20:28 NauseatingNeutral Share on Twitter Reply Report Soccer in America: why aren’t more black kids playing the world’s game? It’s part stigma and partly better alternatives. Most kids live in households that almost religiously watch either NFL or NBA with some other stuff thrown in here and there. The only people still playing are the ones whose parents watch at home, so probably Hispanic backgrounds. NFL and NBA salaries vastly outstrip MLS, or at least they did, and nobody really watches MLS in huge numbers anyway so there’s no drive. I went to high school in the US and the opinion from most of my non-Hispanic classmates was that soccer was a “gay” sport that was only played by children and women (this was also the consensus for meat pies – I guess in the 90’s everything you didn’t like was “gay”). We had two black students on the school team, one whose parents were Ugandan, and the other whose parents were Panamanian. Everyone else bar myself was Hispanic, usually Mexican or Salvadorean. It was definitely odd but the growing worry about American football means perhaps some of these kids who aren’t tall enough for basketball will consider footy. 5 Jun 2018 23:16 5 Jun 2018 21:32 Loading comments… Trouble loading? Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Reply Reply Facebook Facebook | Pick | Pick Twitter Reply Share on WhatsApp Twitter Share Twitter Along with many others, Tucker blames the US Soccer Federation for not doing enough to develop and feature African American players. He wonders why US Soccer won’t come into black neighbourhoods in Washington and other big American cities to establish leagues, staffed with top-level coaches like those in the wealthy suburbs. A quality league with the hope of a direct path to the US national team would go a long way to creating interest within black communities, he says. Kids will believe they are part of a “family”, the way they do in established basketball leagues throughout African American neighbourhoods. Until that happens, the world’s most democratic sport will remain a novelty – something for the white and Latino kids to do in the suburbs. Part three of our in-depth look at soccer and race in American cities runs tomorrow. Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to join the discussion, and explore our archive here Twitter Facebook Reply Report Twitter Share on Facebook Report collapsed Facebook Twitter Report EVERY COUNTRY in the world has been waiting on {insert nation} their Messi. It is a bizarre sentence. Share on Facebook 4 5 4 5 5 Jun 2018 23:32 5 Jun 2018 20:19 Twitter davknigh cozumel @Lescarpenter Reply 5 Jun 2018 23:50 5 6 Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Report Share on Facebook 2 3 Reply Share mrpartridgesir | Pick Share Reply 2 | Pick jhvance Pocorio Tue 5 Jun 2018 08.00 EDT CaliRoshi Reason (optional) Email (optional) RED333 Share on Facebook Replylast_img

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