Race Stereotypes Appearing in Soccer

    In every sport, there are stereotypes in relation to size, weight, money, etc., but the biggest stereotype in soccer is related to race.


    Cassidy Thomas

    Students at Antioch battle racial stereotypes everyday, even on the field.

    Every sport has critics and supporters that label the sport. These labels can be found in professional sports as well as high school sports. For soccer, the most well known of these labels is the stereotype is that all Mexicans and Hispanics are great at soccer. Unfortunately, this stereotype is seen throughout every age level, even high school.

    “We hear this all the time,” sophomore varsity center back Elijah Ruano said. “There’s usually someone on the other team that is Mexican and people will always assume he’s amazing.”

    Ruano has to hear this stereotype everywhere he plays because he is Mexican. Not only does this stereotype affect Mexican and Hispanic soccer players but every other soccer player as well.

    “Soccer is a very diverse sport that’s played all over the world,” sophomore junior varsity soccer player Aidan Weir said. “Just because [someone] is white, black or Hispanic doesn’t mean they are good at soccer.”

    Although people don’t like to admit it, this stereotype is seen worldwide. It is a bigger deal in the professional level but is still very noticeable at this age.

    “This stereotype is so strong in America mostly because soccer is not that popular in this country,” Weir said. “When people in America bring up soccer we usually think of the World Cup and a lot of teams in the World Cup come from a Hispanic background.”

    Some may think this stereotype could be a compliment to Mexicans and Hispanics, but that isn’t the case.

    “It makes me feel like I should be better at soccer, that I’m not good enough for being Mexican,” Ruano said.

    No matter what is done to prevent this stereotype, it will always remain in the back of player’s mind’s that if they are playing a team with more Hispanics or Mexicans, they will automatically be at a disadvantage.

    “We go into the game thinking this will be a tough game to win,” junior and varsity soccer player Samantha Champney said. “If the team has less Mexicans [or] Hispanics we think it will be an easier win.”

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, therefore, this stereotype will always be around in the soccer world.

    “If [someone] truly believes the statement that Hispanics are always good at soccer, then I believe the problem isn’t the sport,” Weir said. “I think it’s the way [someone] was taught when being raised into soccer.”

    In high school, this comment is made to every soccer player in some way, shape or form. The only way to get rid of this stereotype is to see the truth blocked by it. The fact is, it doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity someone is, it is about how badly they want to be good at the sport they play.