Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Good for you, Sydney Leroux

That Sunday's Canada-US women's soccer friendly in Toronto was marred by cheap jingoism is beyond dispute. The debate lies in whether the culprit was Canadian-born American striker Sydney Leroux or the significant portion of the partisan crowd who booed Leroux throughout the match and taunted her with chants of "Judas". Passions were further inflamed when Leroux drew a yellow card for flaunting her US jersey crest and sarcastically shushing the crowd after scoring the third goal in a 3-nil win for the Americans.
Under the circumstances, I applaud her reserve. An even more demonstrative reaction on her part would have been entirely understandable. Even before she revealed post-match that she was subjected to racial taunts in her hometown of Vancouver last year, Leroux was the sympathetic figure in this scenario. A dual citizen deciding to represent one country over another is not treason or betrayal. It's a legitimate choice, and judging by the cretinous behavior of Canadian soccer fans, Sydney Leroux chose wisely.

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