In a recent editorial prior to the Women's World Cup game on June 30, Robbie Rogers posted a call to action for men to defend women's soccer. He listed the problems with all of this year's FIFA Women's World Cup matches being played on turf instead of the traditional grass, such as increased chance of injury and changes in the movement of the ball. He discusses the failed battle for real grass and the players asking for the same conditions that would be allowed for the male players. Rogers brings up that many male players did not speak out against the conditions that the women were facing for the tournament. He mentions that women make up the largest group of athletes that advocate for LBGT rights.
"Breaking down the barriers of discrimination is only possible when we stand together. Women -- across diverse races, orientations, identities and experiences -- have stepped outside of themselves throughout history to stand up for human rights. Men -- we, too, need to step up and be visible allies." Rogers states in his article.
Rogers interprets FIFA's actions, or lack there of, as discrimination toward women and says that forcing women to play with such poor condition shows that the male teams matter more. He compares it to his own experiences as a gay player and straight players would not stand up against LBGT discrimination. Rogers invites his fellow male athletes to stand up for equal treatment for the women.
Roger's call to action is completely justified and should be taken to heart by his fellow athletes. While Rogers has been an outspoken advocate of LBGT equality in sports, it's refreshing to see him also advocating for the fair treatment of all athletes. The differences in playing conditions have been very apparent to fans who follow both the men's and women's international teams. Temperatures of 130 degrees were reported on the turf during the midday games of the Women's World Cup. There would be no way that FIFA would allow players like Messi, Ronaldo, or Muller would be asked to play in those conditions. The same standards that apply for the men's tournaments should be applied for the women's tournaments. The only way that change will happen will be if other players take the stand that Rogers asks of his peers.