Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz stand against mistreatment

Allyson Swaby celebrates scoring a goal for Jamaica at the 2023 World Cup
Jamaica's defender Allyson Swaby celebrates scoring her team's first goal during the 2023 Women's World Cup match vs Panama (Photo by COLIN MURTY/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester City’s Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw was among members of the Jamaica women’s national team who have taken to Instagram. They did this to explain their withdrawal from the Football CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup Qualifiers.

Jamaica statement

The statement acknowledges that this has been “one of the hardest decisions”. But it also asserts that the action being taken by the players is needed. What the players mention as to “put an end to the constant mistreatment we received from the Jamaica Football Federation.” 

This message from the Reggae Girlz affirms that “It is an honor and a privilege to represent Jamaica”. They detail that the ongoing situation has an impact on their ability to perform at their best level. It is also clarified that these are “circumstances the Jamaican Football Federation has put us in.” 

Elaborating further on the situation, the team expressed their concern. This focuses at the “untimely manner” and “unprofessional communication” by which they have been informed about developments regarding staff. Perhaps even more alarmingly is the following. It iwas then disclosed that they “have yet to receive full and correct payments” after the World Cup.

Embed from Getty Images

Problem with Jamaica and JFF

Making their stance known against what is not a new problem, the Jamaican team confirmed that “We have dealt with this lack of communication, poor organization, poor management, and delayed payments from the JFF time and time again.” 

After drawing attention to their attempts to work effectively alongside the JFF despite questionable communicativeness from the organisation, the candid open letter is finished with a “stance in solidarity with hope to end this cycle of mistreatment.” 

The statement as shared by Bunny Shaw (@bun_bun10) on Instagram.

The Fight for Equality Continues

A statement like this being put out by an international women’s football team in 2023, should be more shocking than it is. Through this and the events surrounding Luis Rubiales following the World Cup, it is once again proven that there is still a long way to go regarding organisations respecting their female players. There should never be an instance where any squad has done the job they were hired to do, yet have not received full payment for it. 

Additionally, the improper way in which this team have had important news must be recognised as unacceptable. The news in this instance was the announcement of their new head coach. This was revealed to them via social media and at the last minute. This is a professional team playing at the international level. To treat these talented individuals otherwise as the JFF so blatantly have, is not only disrespectful but problematic. Furthermore, it is obstructive of progress for women’s football in Jamaica and on a global scale. 

These players deserve better. Jamaica deserves better. Women’s football deserves better. For this team to continue their already impressive journey by standing up for what they know to be right is good. Furthermore, saying no to the constant inequalities they have faced, is admirable. They have reminded us all that change is still needed, and they won’t go down without a fight. 

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