Soccer Is One of the Most Diverse Sports in the World — But Not in America
In the series The Privilege of Play, Yahoo Sports looks at the youth sports pipeline and what’s keeping children of color from participating in the world’s most popular sport.
At the highest level of soccer in the U.S, there has been a push toward diversity for players, coaches, and administrators. The 2019 Major League Soccer Racial and Gender Report Card showed that the MLS had improved its diversity in hiring over the last 15 years and now comprises 37.5% coaches of color and 61.7% players of color.
But at the club level, and especially with youth sports, there are barriers for young players of color that are keeping them off the field. Yahoo’s Henry Bushnell writes, “Registration fees at many top youth clubs are four figures. They’re also merely a fraction of the necessary investment. Uniforms, tournaments, equipment, transportation, camps and specialized trainers all comprise … ‘the hidden soccer economy.’”