Nicholas Olea M.

Chilean women’s team

The racist criticism that Mary Valencia received on social networks in the midst of the women’s Copa América, which marks her official debut with the Chilean adult team, encouraged an artist based in the United States to recreate the behavior of some obtuse people in a good cartoon.

Mary Valencia is one of the most promising players of recent times in the Chilean women's team
© Conmebol and Profhelix24Mary Valencia is one of the most promising players of recent times in the Chilean women’s team

Forward Mary Valencia has not only stood out for her stellar debut in the women’s Copa América, as the youngest player on the Chilean team. She scored a goal and at 18 years old she is stomping for renewal. The Santiago Morning attacker was born in Colombia, she lived until she was eleven years old in Spain and then came to Chile with her mother.

His irruption in the national team began three months ago in the South American Sub 20, and today he excites those who see in the brunette a future elite striker. But her origin has also brought her unpleasant problems: the racist attacks that she has received through social networks, which have been disapproved at all levels.

The union of professional soccer players, Anjuff, raised its voice and gave recognition to the national striker: “We are proud that Mary Valencia represents the colors of La Roja. We work for a football free of violence, for which we are ashamed of the racism he has received”.

In that sense, the message could not be clearer. “We condemn the discrimination of which he has been a victim and we send him our unrestricted support!”, they sentence in the union entity that watches over women’s football.

Later, the Minister for Women, Antonia Orellana, joined in, expressing her support for the leader. “All my solidarity with Mary Valencia of the Chilean team. Keep opening paths so that there are more women in all sports,” the secretary of state and journalist wrote on her Twitter account.

But without a doubt the most applauded intervention was by the artist ProfHelix24, which from the United States shares stories related to women’s soccer and with special emphasis on Chile and the University of Chile. And he posted a powerful reflection that links Ben Brereton, the last nationalized outstanding in the men’s Red.

The comic about Mary Valencia and Ben Brereton

The cartoonist’s work first shows a supposed La Roja fan yelling “Ben is Chilean!” in front of the front; and then the same fanatic in a reluctant attitude against Mary Valencia. “One thing is for him to play for Chile and the other is for him to be the Chilean,” she says with her arms crossed and a proud position.

The image has quickly gone viral, even within the women’s Red. Yenny Acuña, who is also her attack partner in Santiago Morning, published a story with the comic, while Valentina Navarrete liked her as public expressions.

And what did the author say? That “the case of Mary Valencia has four layers. Racism, because she is brunette; xenophobia, because she was born in Colombia, classism, because she has a background that is not usually found in the upper classes, and sexism, because she is a young woman.”

Another element to the story? That this Wednesday from 8:00 p.m. Colombia and Chile -the two nationalities of Mary- will face each other in the closing of Group A; with the whole range of possibilities open. La Roja can qualify in the first, second or third place, or be eliminated in the fourth position in the worst case.

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