Soccer champion goalkeeper wants better soccer goalkeepers
Second of two parts
Recognized as one of the greatest goalkeepers in women‘s football history, Briana Scurry is also an extraordinary advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. “I am also intersectional [as one gets]Scurry said last month in a phone interview with MSR.
“I am a mother. I am in a gay relationship. I’m black. And I am a woman, the minority of the minority of a minority.
The current climate of division that exists in this country greatly troubles Scurry, now 50 and a first-time author of a book. Her new memoir, “My Greatest Save,” was released in June.
“What bothers me is the lack of empathy,” she continued. “I find it hard to understand how someone who has already been discriminated against can discriminate. I don’t understand.
The transgender issue is both polarizing and politicized. Nearly 20 states now have laws or policies that prohibit or limit sports participation for transgender athletes. However, other states allow transgender women to participate in women’s sports.
“It bothers me that there are literally laws that discriminate against transgender athletes,” Scurry said. ” I do not understand that. Why?”
Scurry is in the Title IX permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. Last month, she was one of seven black women in the Star Tribune’s “The 50” to mark 50e Anniversary of Title IX. These are just two of the many milestones she has taken in her life.
She has also played a key role in promoting equal pay. Scurry attended the White House Equal Pay Summit in May. She also couldn’t hide her excitement when the groundbreaking decision on equal pay in women’s football was finalized in the spring.
“I was absolutely on Cloud Nine,” Scurry said, “when I read about it. I was amazed. We’re talking about a 30-year odyssey battle between the [U.S.] the women’s national team that wins a tournament each cycle. We won at the Olympics [and] expanded the game in this country.
Despite her successes and being one of the most high-profile black women to play soccer, Scurry remains determined to see more girls and women like her playing the sport. She cites three “elements” that are at play.
“The first is the economy,” Scurry explained. “If your child is bright, very athletic, it will cost us thousands of dollars. If my mom and dad were here now and I was a little girl in the 70s, there’s no way my mom and dad would have contributed thousands of dollars for me to play football when they needed to pay the mortgage, the car bill and the electricity, which is a ton of money. It’s ridiculous how expensive the sport is.
“Second, geographic location,” Scurry noted. “It’s a predominantly suburban sport.
“The third are the goalkeepers. I think it’s the goalkeepers who are the problem. This can be corrected now.
The goalkeepers Scurry refers to include youth football coaches, administrators and others encountered as players move up the ranks. Having more black people in decision-making roles would also help, she thinks.
“It takes time,” Scurry said. “The people making these decisions have to look at the young African-American player who may not have a lot of funding with his family or may live in an urban area, and expose them [to soccer]. Then you may be able to get more traction.
“But it’s going to take time to see that.”
Charles Hallman is an award-winning journalist and sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.