Leroux draws criticism for “classless” goal celebration

Published On June 3, 2013 | By Sarah Kirkpatrick

In the United States’ 3-0 win over Canada in a women’s soccer friendly Sunday, victory was overshadowed by a single goal celebration.

Upon scoring the team’s third goal, Canadian-born striker Sydney Leroux taunted Canadian fans by shushing the crowd and kissing the US Soccer Federation badge on her jersey. She received a yellow card for her actions.

Leroux was born in Surrey, British Columbia, and has played for several Canadian teams, including the Canadian U-19 team, but moved to the US at age 15 and decided to represent them in international play. Leroux has received plenty of negative reception on the pitch from Canadian fans, including “Judas” chants, but she isn’t afraid to respond — and she showed that Sunday.

Canadian fans and commentators were outraged over Leroux’s celebration. Some Canadian commentators went as far to call it “classless”, and one commentator went so far as to call the celebration “too American.” The mayhem continued long after the game ended; social media exploded following the celebration, and Canadian fans used Twitter to share how irate they were over Leroux’s supposed “classlessness.”

Monday morning, Leroux responded, tweeting “When you chant racial slurs, taunt me and talk about my family don’t be mad when I shush you and show pride in what I represent. #america”

Leroux wanted to represent the United States in soccer from the time she was a little girl and was eligible to do so thanks to her American father. She has worked tirelessly to become one of the top female soccer players in the world and wanted to play for the team she said she feels is the best. It’s easy to see why Canadian fans would feel betrayed, but it’s also easy to see why she reacted as she did.

Players taunt in sports all the time. Are we really going to get heated over a barely abrasive goal celebration? If you’re going to boo a player every time she touches the ball, she’s going to react to it. Canadian fans taunted, Leroux responded. There’s nothing abnormal, outrageous or classless about that.

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About The Author

Sarah is a Seattle native studying journalism at Boston University. She covers track and field, cross country and women’s hockey and is Sports Editor at The Daily Free Press, BU’s independent student newspaper. You can follow her on Twitter at @Kirkpatrick_SJ.