Standing Up Against Racism in Youth Soccer
New York Soccer News: It’s hard to believe that there have been racial incidents on New York City soccer fields so the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League is fighting against racism.
Editor’s Note: It is 2019 and racial tensions and ethnic inequalities still exist in American society. We may not know the answers to why people face barriers because of the color of their skin, but we know in our hearts what is right.
We know racism is wrong.
In a time when we face the mistakes and embarrassments of our past, from the perils before the Civil War — to other errors in judgment, we need to stand strong. We may have come a long way but it is not good enough. But, together, we can at least keep our favorite sport from being stained with racism.
Here is what is happening in New York youth soccer:
The Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League is the oldest youth soccer league in the United States as they are New York City originals since 1933. The CJSL is also one of the most culturally diverse leagues in the USA.
Andrew So, Executive Director and Co-Founder of CJSL club South Bronx United, recently wrote an article entitled, Racism on Your Local Youth Soccer Pitch, in which he sheds light on the racist comments and actions in youth soccer and the negative impact it has on players.
“The CJSL considers itself a home for players of all ethnicities, nationalities, languages and gender identities. The article Andrew wrote resonated with our organization and we are prepared to take action,“ stated CJSL Director Dimitrie Draguca. “So the CJSL invites all youth soccer teams in New York City to join us on the weekend of April 13 and 14 to Stand Against Racism in Youth Soccer.“
To participate in this anti-racism program, the CJSL asks that for all games, in all age groups:
- Both teams including coaches and referees walk together, hand-in-hand in one line across to the center circle
- Parents and fans clap and cheer from the sidelines
- Everyone share pictures and videos of this moment on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the hashtag #STANDAGAINSTRACISM
The CJSL team with the most social posts with the hashtag will win tickets to an upcoming New York City FC match in New York City.
In addition, the CJSL has updated its GAME ISSUE INCIDENT REPORT to allow for the reporting of any racist and/or discriminatory behavior by parents, coaches, referees or players during a CJSL match.
Draguca added, “We look forward to making this an annual event and taking the first steps in ensuring that all our young athletes feel welcome and included when they step on the soccer field.“
Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association: With over 100,000 youth soccer players–both boys and girls–and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) reaches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees, and administrators.