Mar 22, 2013, 11:48 AM EST
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said in a meeting attended by AC Milan’s, Kevin-Prince Boateng that “It is time for football to catch up with 21st century values of respecting diversity.”
The world’s most popular sport is coming under increasing scrutiny and rightly so as it has the power and influence to effect change. Young and old, look to players and coaches for guidance and the number of high-profile incidents and inflammatory statements continues to grow as the media and public witness and record everything.
Pillay who has a long history working within human rights believes football must move with the times on issues such as accepting gay players, combating racism and promoting the role of women.
With Robbie Rodgers recently coming out and announcing he’s gay while at the same time retiring from Major League Soccer, Boateng suggesting that racist players should be fired for racist behavior and the women’s pro league (NWSL) in America making another attempt to crack the market, the time is now for all these issues to be addressed head-on.
As an organization FIFA has been especially slow to take a lead and as the governing arm of the sport that is a major disappointment however they are close to appointing first female member to its powerful executive committee later this year.
Pillay added the following in her interview with BBC Sport.
“I’m concerned that these huge clubs are administered by men,” she added. There aren’t women in decision-making positions in these clubs.”
“There is a wide gap and what women are saying to me is that since they are excluded from these positions their voices are not heard.
“So their right to freedom of expression is also affected.”
The time is now and you’re either on the train or standing on the platform stuck in the past.
- What US Soccer wants from the World Cup draw 9
- How well did Major League Soccer’s format work in 2013? Few qualms with this year’s results 7
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: Here’s how it’s going to work 1
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: The sum of all fears scenario for the United States 14
- World Cup Draw: United States in Pot Three 11
- Meet the Premier League’s other U.S. international goalkeeper: Cody Cropper 5
- Premier League Preview: Manchester United v. Everton 1
- Debunking the myth of Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City as bitter rivals 2
- Sit down with Orlando City SC: Taking on Beckham, emulating the Timbers and Kaka in 2015 – Part I (21)
- USA drop one spot to 14th in latest FIFA World Rankings, Portugal surge to fifth (19)
- Video of Jermaine Jones’ terrific goal Saturday for Schalke (16)
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: The sum of all fears scenario for the United States (14)
- World Cup Draw: United States in Pot Three (11)