Why Chloe Kelly’s shirtless goal is so important
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“It’s a woman’s body—not for sex or appearances.”
After a tense match yesterday, England women’s team won the Women’s Euro 22 match 2-1 against Germany.
It is the first time that either the women’s or men’s teams have been crowned Euro champions.
In the 20th minute of extra time, Chloe Kelly scored a winning goal for England, scoring a goal with the second lunge after an early missed attempt.
Walking around the pitch, the forward ripped off his shirt, banging it happily around his head.
Her topless celebration soon became one of the final’s most iconic shots, a pivotal moment for women in the sport globally.
Why? Well, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) dictates that you get a yellow card if you take off your shirt in the middle of a match for a variety of reasons. This rule stands in both men’s and women’s games, yet last night, Kelly broke that rule (and later handled the yellow card after the celebration).
The moment was iconic – the sheer enthusiasm, passion and disbelief that he achieved a potentially winning goal so close to the final whistle. But it was more than that. Seeing Kelly topless, yet so far from sexist as you can imagine, celebrating herself, her strength, and her skills was magical.
A post going viral on social media has told this. Author Lucy Ward shares: “This image of a shirtless woman in a sports bra is extremely important. It’s a woman’s body—not for sex or appearances—just for the pleasure of what she can do and the power she has. And the skill is there. Amazing. #lioness”
The tweet has currently garnered over 11 thousand retweets and nearly 130 thousand likes.
Menopause PhD student Vic Gill said: “I absolutely loved that moment! A strong feminist statement and a worthy moment of utmost pride!”.
It depicts the celebration of American footballer Brandi Chastain after scoring the winning penalty in the 1999 World Cup final.
Women are often judged, ridiculed or sexually abused in sports. Just last week, comments at the bottom of a Just Eat TikTok ad called for a return to the “good old days” where women didn’t play. Not only that, they are often subject to the same old and outdated rules. During last year’s European Championships, the Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined for wearing shorts and not bikini bottoms, despite the men’s beach handball team always wearing shorts.
Sexism is still very much present in the game – but it Is is changing. While the handball team was fined when similar moves were made in gymnastics a few months earlier, the German Federation (DTB) supported the move, stating that women should “always feel comfortable” in their apparel. should do”. (Sarah Voss and teammates chose to wear a full-bodied leotard over a skimpy one at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships).
While seeing a female athlete in a bra isn’t revolutionary—far from it—the moment will live on in my mind for a long time as it literally reflects the evening of the playground. Women are finally being seen as equals and the sport is being treated at par with the male counterpart.
That the focus is on football, rather than what gender the athletes are playing, indicates a marked change in attitude from ten years ago. More in this direction please.