The Fédération de soccer du Québec (FSQ) caused quite a stir when it announced that a ban on headgear -- religious or not -- would be upheld. If a soccer club makes an exception for the turban, what other exemptions follow? The yarmulke? The kirpan? Why would regulations apply to some but not to others? As FIFA struggles to address persistent racism exhibited in the sport, is it wise to add additional bias to the field? By eliminating a religious symbol, the FSQ strengthens this cherished sporting sanctuary to which congregate almost half of all Canadian kids. In this oasis, there is room for only one religion: the one called "soccer."
This weekend the Quebec Soccer Federation votes on whether to lift a ban that prevents kids from playing soccer -- specifically Sikh players who wear turbans. In sports, you learn to participate and take risks. And you learn to include everyone. It is a lesson that some of the grown-ups still don't get.
Monday's Canada vs. the States soccer game was so good it made you forget you were watching women's soccer, or care (if you did). Too often, female athletes have to fight for airtime, and for recognition. It shouldn't be like that, but sports are sexist in nature. We're all guilty of slighting female athletes. So, thank God for Monday, because we can't now. Compared to this, Usain Bolt's thrilling 9.63 seconds was like a warmup to something better.
When black Dutch players received their Jim Crow-inspired welcome in Krakow last week, we were shocked, stunned, and depressed -- but hardly surprised. This stuff ain't new in that part of the world. Meanwhile a portion of the 10,000 Russian fans who have bought tickets will be holding a march from central Warsaw to the stadium. Poles view it as "provocative." Can you really blame them?
We stand on the verge of another sure to be historical event. The thousands who gathered in the streets to wave the flags and scream and shout, this tradition that started with a great street party on St. Clair in Toronto in 1982, it was all a result of what people saw on TV. Soccer is now regarded as a valuable sports property. But all of this came from very humble beginnings.