Jayne Caudwell draws from her sustained research on football, gender and feminism to contribute an article to The Conversation.
While Women’s Euro 2022 has set new standards in terms of attendance and media coverage of the women’s game, this generation of players continues to experience sexism. Girls and women are not a homogeneous group, and while some players will experience sexism, others will experience the intersections of sexism with racism.
The spectacle of England’s women winning Euro 2022 will drive change and progress. But from their first game on July 6 to the final, it was noticeable that every English starting lineup was made up of white players. There were only three Black players in the England squad of 23.
The whiteness of the current team may come as a surprise to some, because Black women have held visible roles in English women’s football and continue to do so. Hope Powell was the first woman to coach England and continues her career managing Brighton & Hove Albion. Alex Scott and Eniola Aluko work in football commentary following successful playing careers.