Racism Plagues European Soccer’s Uneven Playing Fields

Soccer, like so many other sports, still struggles for Black representation in leadership roles:
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Goalkeeper Édouard Mendy.

On the surface, Chelsea’s victory against Rennes in the Champions League a few weeks ago was just another of those disposable, check-box exercises that litter the group stages of the competition.

Chelsea, the heavy favorite — the team with superior financial firepower, a deeper squad and broader ambitions — cruised to a win.

Beyond the score, there seemed little to remember it by. And yet that game, like Tuesday’s return match in France, was a rarity not only in the Champions League, but in elite European soccer as a whole.

Startlingly, troublingly, these may be the only two games in the Champions League this season in which both teams played a Black goalkeeper: Édouard Mendy, the 28-year-old acquired by Chelsea in September, and Alfred Gomis, the man who replaced him at Rennes.

Few sports are quite the level playing fields they believe themselves to be. Black quarterbacks were once as rare in the N.F.L. as Black entrants were at tennis championships and golf majors.

Soccer, like so many other sports, still struggles for Black representation in leadership roles: There are few Black managers, and even fewer Black executives.

Read rest of story here.

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