Soccer politics

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PAOV — A men's soccer league has denied Canadian Olympic goalkeeper the opportunity to play with their team, because she's a woman. Sign and share if you agree your gender should not determine your opportunities.

Petitioning Mike Panter, Eric Centner Let Stephanie Labbé compete in the USL PDL!

Petition by Cédric Chen
Burnaby, Canada


Sign the petition In early 2018, Stephanie Labbé, a long-time professional goalkeeper who had made regular appearances for Canada's National Women's Soccer Team, made the audacious decision to try out for the Calgary Foothills, a men's semi-professional soccer team competing in the USL Premier Development League (PDL). She successfully earned her spot on the team, made her debut for the Foothills in an exhibition match against FC Edmonton and won the heart of the 3000 audiences at the stadium.

This was when everything took a turn for the worse: Just less than 2 weeks before the PDL season starts, the PDL made the decision that Stephanie Labbé cannot compete for the Calgary Foothills in the PDL because she is a woman. The PDL also stated that Labbé cannot appeal this decision because there are other women's soccer league in which Labbé is eligible, even though these leagues are unpaid amateur leagues.

Considering how disproportionately few opportunities are available for aspiring female athletes to become professional athletes and how additionally difficult it is for a female athlete to earn a spot on a team composed of male athletes, this decision by the PDL is incredibly sexist. Further more, this decision might also deliver a huge blow to Labbé's career as a soccer player: The PDL publicised this decision so late that the transfer windows for all professional women's soccer leagues have been closed, which means that Labbé would have to wait until the secondary transfer window opens in July when she will be allowed to sign with a club in Europe.

From the early trailblazer Billie Jean King to the recent Olympic champion Hayley Wickenheiser, more and more female athletes are challenging themselves by competing against male athletes for spots on male-dominant teams and in male-dominant competition. This is not only beneficial for these female athletes' careers, but also beneficial for female sports in general as the success of these female athletes boosts the self-confidence of more and more aspiring female athletes. On the other hand, these female athletes' success would also motivate male athletes to continue to strengthen themselves in the face of competitions. The PDL should not have decided to stand in the path to excellence of Stephanie Labbé and other female athletes, and yet it did.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, demand that the USL Premier Development League and its parent organisation, the United Soccer League, revoke and nullify the decision to prohibit Stephanie Labbé from competing in the USL Premier Development League. We further demand that the USL Premier Development League amend all relevant policies in order to allow other female athletes to meritoriously earn their spots should the coaches conclude that these female athletes have successfully demonstrated their excellence in soccer. r0 · /> · Privacy policy

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