The Women’s World Cup Showcases More Than Soccer

By Casey Scheuerman, Online and Social Media Editor

The Women’s World Cup got underway this week in France. Normally, soccer fails to capture my interest, but I make an exception for the World Cup. Nowhere else is this level of talent concentrated. There may be less raw ability on display, but the women match their male counterparts in technique and finesse, the most entertaining parts of soccer.

But the Women’s World Cup isn’t just about soccer. Sure, the U.S. national team may have just won 13-0 over Thailand, the largest-ever victory in a World Cup. Because of the status of women in many countries, however, the Women’s World Cup has special weight for many people, most of all the players.

I read an article the other day about Jamaica’s national team, the Reggae Girlz. The Reggae Girlz have had their funding completely cut multiple times in the last decade, despite having greater success than their male counterpart. Because of the increased support for male soccer (drawing more fans and creating more revenue), the male team was given more money.

Why is this? Clearly the women’s team has a higher level of talent than the men’s team. The answer can only lie in the different attitude people have towards women’s sports. I know that in many places, women and girls are not encouraged to play sports in the same way men and boys are. I have always loved sports and competition, and I want everybody to have the opportunity to experience that.

Jamaica lost their opener in the World Cup. In all, 12 teams lost their first game. Some may not win a single game. But just in being at the World Cup and qualifying for a tournament so important, they are helping to further their sport in their countries. Even in getting blown out, they are doing what they love.

I watch sports because I love them. Maybe I don’t watch women’s sports as often as I watch men’s sports, but the World Cup is truly worth the watch. And if you do turn it on, remember that what those women are doing is more than just being the best in the world.