Kicks and Giggles

by Carolyn Needles

Soccer has been a significant part of my life for seven years. I started to love soccer during the hardest times in my life. I was still finding myself during those times. It wasn’t very easy. I remember getting notification on my phone on one of my very bad days. It  brought my attention to the equal pay fight. It distracted me for enough time to rethink what I was doing. After reading that article it gave me something  to fight for again, even if my struggles weren’t quite over yet. 

Finding  my voice has been a journey. I’ve had a hard time navigating my career up to this point. My writing style needs improvement in order to write for a large  publication or possibly covering the teams of the NWSL or national teams. People in my life have described me as outspoken. I’ve had experiences of being censored while telling my own story. For example, I was recently featured in a story by US Soccer during fan week, however, there were inconsistancies in the article. I emailed the person who wrote the article and he said, “I left in the parts that fit with the overall scope of US Soccer.” His response wasn’t surprising but I was hoping that my entire story could have been told. 

A case in point is Christen’s quote: “You’re asking the wrong people ‘what if we lose’?” This quote was used in reference to the equal pay lawsuit which was recently settled. Their excuse for cutting this part out was, “It’s an ongoing lawsuit and we aren’t allowed to speak publicly on it.” I would understand that limitation but I was  trying to use the quote as an uplifting note. This quote has helped me through some of my insecurities, trials and tribulations.  Another thing they kept out for business reasons, I assume, was the impact of having a community like Re–inc, which  has positively changed the course of my life. It’s given me the courage to express myself about difficult topics. People are so receptive and expressive which encourages people to speak freely. Their platform also gives  users thought-provoking questions to chat about. They also host very informative events with different social causes that allow user’s to  interact with speakers and others. 

US Soccer is an important organization and I appreciate their friendship and partnership. I look forward to future collaboration with their stellar team.

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