Jess Carter, a 33-year-old footballer from London, and Magdalena Eriksson, 31, the Swedish star who plays for Chelsea, participated in a live Facebook chat to discuss the protests in Charlottesville and Colin Kaepernick’s controversial anthem protest last year.
In advance of the match between the two clubs on Tuesday night, Carter and Eriksson shared their views on how the games between the English Premier League team and their Swedish opponents should be conducted.
It came down to two points: A player who wears a flag shirt on the field wouldn’t be able to represent her country and make a statement that’s in line with national policy. And also, the players should know what team they’re representing, so there can be no way they could be in a situation like those who participated in the Charlottesville violence and are facing charges, and be able to represent their team. We have the responsibility to protect what we have worked so hard for in Sweden and England and Europe and to celebrate the game itself and nothing else. I can definitely see that people will take the field with flags of both countries in it; I think that’s one step too far and there are people who will see the flag and think it’s the wrong thing to do.
Carter, who is an England international for Birmingham City, has previously been embroiled in racial controversies and discriminatory attacks. On Sunday she was named as an “out” by the club after supporters used a section of the city’s Etihad Stadium as a toilet.
TRANSFORMING THE GAME @ERIKSSON
CAMEROON v ENGLAND ⚽️
Follow the full discussion @dfliontd https://t.co/DO94TZHcm0 #JBFF 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/Goq3p6m7qJ — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 9, 2017
In a statement to the Guardian, the club said: “In the past few days, abuse has been directed at her via social media, with explicit, prejudiced language used. While we’re aware it’s upsetting, we feel it is important that what is normally a great day for Jessie is a day she does not want to have.”
Despite the abuse, Eriksson says she’s looking forward to her debut in Europe.
I’m proud to have a permanent place in Europe and to make my debut for Chelsea. I knew if I was able to make the club in Sweden and then the England national team, I have the chance to show my talent and can take my career to a higher level.
The two players will have to get used to seeing a different set of questions when they play in England.