Aluko’s stand against racism put her on sidelines for World Cup

Eniola Aluko, England, women's soccer, women's world cup
Eniola Aluko (R) of England in action against Marija Aleksic (L) of Bosnia during the UEFA Women’s European Championship Qualifier at FF BIH Football Training Centre on April 12, 2016 in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

As the sporting world turns its attention to the Women’s World Cup in France, one football hotbed will be without a top player.

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Marking the end of the Global Sport Institute’s year of inquiry on race and sport, GlobalSport Matters and the Sports Knowledge Lab at Arizona State University examined the impact of race and sport. Men’s football is not alone in dealing with racial incidents. A manager’s racist comments about a Nigerian player led to the sacking of England’s women’s national team boss.

Eniola Aluko, a former England forward who had 102 international caps, won’t be on the touchline when matches begin. After speaking out against former England manager Mark Sampson, who she said made racial comments to her and another player, Aluko has been on the sidelines. Aluko alleged that Sampson told her to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola to a game in November 2016.

Daniel Burdsey, a Reader at the University of Brighton, said standing up for herself led to her exclusion from the team.

At Brighton Burdsey has dedicated his research to exploring racism in British culture, specifically in sports.

In the late 90s, Burdsey was a member of the Leicester City FC Anti-Racist Task Force. Those experiences helped him address the issues of the racist treatment of British Asians in soccer. While researching racism in soccer, made interesting discoveries about the racial treatment of British Asians, and realized that that treatment is why they are not well represented in British soccer.

To this day, Burdsey is committed to fighting racism through his research efforts.


Katelyn Oates is a sophomore journalism major and Dustin Paré is a senior journalism major

Editor’s note: The Global Sport Institute tracks the social justice activities of NFL teams. Check out our season-ending report.

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