‘This is history right here’ Simone Charley on soccer amid pandemic, social justice movement


Herriman, UTAH (WKRN) – The NWSL did what other professional sports leagues in the United States could not do – return to action quickly and quietly.

On June 27, the league became the first pro team sport in America to make its return.

“This definitely feels like this will be in the history books right here,” said former Vanderbilt Commodore and current Portland Thorn. “Just being in the middle of a pandemic, also playing a soccer tournament, and then also in the middle of a social justice movement, I feel like it’s all happening at the same time.”

With the spotlight all to their own, they intended to shine.

“I think after the amazing success that the Women’s National Team had at the World Cup last year, we started to generate a little more popularity and have a few more eyes on us, so it’s great that we’re having this opportunity to ride a little bit of that momentum.”

But this opportunity is bigger than just simply more eyeballs on the sport.

“I definitely feel a responsibility to speak up. Being an athlete, you’re given a platform that not a lot of people have and I think it’s very important that you use that to speak out on racial injustices and social injustices and things that are going on in the world because people are willing to listen in ways that they might not be able to listen to everyone. So I think that’s something that’s very important to me, so I’ve been trying to use my platform for social change.”

As other sports begin to return to their respective bubbles, Charley has some advice.

“Following protocol and making sure you’re doing even the little things like wearing a mask and covering your nose with the mask, like things like that are very important because it’s those details that make the biggest difference. Also it’s a great opportunity to bond with your teammates because when else am I going to be around my teammates 24-7 for a month straight?”

“I would say I’m not really enjoying getting tested every 3 days, but it’s definitely worth it I would say.”

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