The Queen of the Mardi Gras King Cake Dishes Out It’s Tasty HistoryMarch 4, 2019
We’re sending big kudos to Christen Press who scored a goal in the semi-final match against England, helping the US Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) advance to the Women’s World Cup Final in France. Press is just one of five African Americans/women of color on the 2019 roster, which happens to be the US’s most diverse roster yet. We chatted with Press to talk about World Cup expectations and diversity in the sport.
- What’s it like to participate in another World Cup?
The World Cup is unlike any other experience. It’s a shooting star moment, and with the beauty comes pressure and expectations and excitement and wonder.
- What are you most looking forward to during this Cup in France?
I look forward to seeing my teammates shine on the biggest stage. I look forward to growing as a human through the triumphs and tribulations of this event.
- Who first introduced you to soccer?
My mother first introduced me to soccer when I was 3 years old. [Press’s late mother Stacy Press was a tennis athlete while her father, Cody Press, was a Dartmouth football player. Press lost her mother earlier this year and ].
- What’s your proudest or most enduring soccer memory?
All of my proudest memories have come after great loss. Continuing to play and going pro after losing back-to-back college national championships. Moving to Sweden after the U.S. American pro league folded. Being brave and not letting the 2016 Olympic loss make me play fearfully.
- Can you talk about your experience as a young girl of color growing up in the sport (or athletics in general)?
My parents always helped me be aware that soccer in America did not have a fair infrastructure that gave equal opportunity to people of different socio-economic and racial backgrounds to participate. And that definitely motivated me to fight to extra hard to make it to the next level.
- Can you talk about your experience now as a woman of color, playing at the highest stage?
I am so proud that this is the most diverse World Cup roster in our history. It’s so important for young people to see black women on this team. As a team that represents our country, our players should look like the people in country, and that is diverse and beautiful. Representation matters. Different faces, ideas, backgrounds and styles matter.
- Not only do you represent for women of color, you represent for women in sport as a whole. In your opinion, in what ways does the sport as an international platform, aid in the ongoing battle for gender equality worldwide?
Soccer has given us an amazing opportunity to change what people see, hear, feel and think by using the power of our voices and our platforms. I strive to make a better future for young people, young women, and especially young women of color.