Why Women’s Football Fans Must Stick Together and Protect the Sport

There’s many reasons why we’ve all chosen to be a part of women’s football. Fans, pundits and journalists alike, we’ve all turned our attention to this empowering sport.

Whether the reason is an underlying feminism, the quality, the fabled wholesome family vibe or simply just the affordability… we’re all invested.

We are the lucky generation that gets to indulge in the growth of the women’s game. We are finally at the point where huge crowds want to watch their favourite players on big stages.

We’re privileged but we also have a responsibility. As supporters we need to protect the values of the sport, the clubs and the people that made – and continue to make – it all possible.

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This is a debate I’ve had time and time again with various people. Some involved in the game, some adverse to even watching it.

The value that I try to embed in these conversations is that this is a working class sport, for the players and the fans. It’s a sport that’s accessible in every way.

In what other sport can you find the athletes taking photos with every fan who queues up to meet them? How many other sports involve their players arranging their own transportation home, ready for their day job the next morning?

We owe it to those that came before us to protect these values. Even more so to those that are yet to come. It’s our jobs to ensure they enjoy the sport in the same way we do each week.

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These women – whether they be rivals to your club, players who have left your team or even club staff – have all made countless sacrifices to be able to participate at this level.

Many of them have to self-fund health care, work other jobs to pay the bills and sometimes have to relocate and/or commute on small budgets.

The message I’m trying to get across here is that we need to be different. Trolling is commonplace in the men’s game – there’s little that can be done to eradicate it. It’s toxic and it’s one of the reasons many fans have moved away from the sport. 

It’s not something women’s football is accustomed to. Why must trolling and hate move across to what is usually a harmonious sport?

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Earlier this year we moved to set up this women’s football outlet with one key agreed motto, “We will not publish anything that has a negative impact on a player or the game.”

This sport still needs helping hands to grow. Ask yourselves, what are your values as a supporter?

The definition of ‘a supporter’ is “A person who approves of or encourages a public figure.” Many of us go above and beyond that definition, but let’s not sink below it and go out of our way to drag down others. Especially around a sport in this day and age that still has such a relatable human element.

Let’s protect and enrich this game of ours.