Meet soccer stars Magdalena Eriksson and Jess Carter

Written by By Emily Smith, CNN Melbourne-based X Factor Australia host Magdalena Eriksson and perennial Chelsea Ladies midfielder Jess Carter featured on CNN’s latest pop culture podcast “The Shift,” talking about their on-and-off-field roles…

Meet soccer stars Magdalena Eriksson and Jess Carter

Written by By Emily Smith, CNN

Melbourne-based X Factor Australia host Magdalena Eriksson and perennial Chelsea Ladies midfielder Jess Carter featured on CNN’s latest pop culture podcast “The Shift,” talking about their on-and-off-field roles and the recent scandal that sparked the most high-profile protest since Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem.

Talking to Natalia Cohen, CNN Sport Editor, about their preferred modes of demonstration, the soccer stars both cite the Mandela era as a key influence on their lives, for which there is one basic criteria.

“The ANC . . . very much are the thinkers, the strategists, the game-changers,” says Eriksson. “And they were really lucky and talented enough to take that leap of faith and risk that their country could still exist.”

This freedom of expression was later echoed in the House of Representatives of South Africa by Minister Nomvula Mokonyane , as she asked the nation to commemorate Mandela’s legacy through art in the run-up to its centenary in October.

“This is our moment to come together to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, just like he did for South Africa, and in the same way the world will remember his impact on the world and the [apartheid] struggle,” Mokonyane said.

“It is important for us to celebrate the late Mandela and the work he did, to recommit ourselves to his ideals, ideals which we have, sadly, moved away from but which we can … continue to maintain as our DNA and ours.”

The practice of Black Lives Matter has long been practiced by Lille striker Jess Carter, who has publicly asked fans to show their solidarity by wearing black armbands.

“As a Black person, I think it is important to give and love and allow people to make their own choice,” she says. “If you’re going to go and protest — there’s certain things that you need to go and do, so I don’t think it’s everyone’s right to complain that other people should go and protest.”

She adds: “From a footy-player point of view, it’s time to put on your own red card.”

Carter says the reaction the gesture received gave her peace of mind.

“It was nice to have that feedback, being as I am not involved in such a big part of the political conversation and actually being that little bit of a loud voice . . . People can relate to it, they really do,” she says.

Eriksson was an anti-apartheid activist, along with playing father Bart Migude and her younger brother Jan Migude.

“My family was very vocal about it. All my siblings, I went to the same schools as Nicky (Nicholls, then with the English club Coventry City), and yet Nicky would not go to my school because of the apartheid,” she says.

“We have a very big family, and there’s been a divide, so I think [the response] has always been good to overcome that, especially on the football pitch.”

Asked about the beginnings of her admiration for politics, the former Dutch international states that it started as a 12-year-old while watching her father march with protesters in Amsterdam: “They were passing by a school and a gang of kids were right in front of him blocking the road and singing,” Eriksson says.

“It wasn’t politically charged because we were at the time of ’40s and ’50s, but for my father it was very political. I remember it was only because he was not politically charged but I really admired him for it because my father was a very open-minded person.”

Watch Jess Carter and Magdalena Eriksson discuss their roles in Chelsea Ladies Football Club’s story below:

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