Boston Breaker and US National Team star Kristine Lilly appeared last night on "Greater Boston", a Boston based talk show on WGBH Channel 2 Boston, and spoke in detail about the recent violent incidents in woman's high school and collegiate soccer.
Appearing with Dan Lebowitz, Executive Director of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, Lilly spoke candidly with show host Jared Bowen about the well publicized incidents that happened recently at a high school in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and a college game in New Mexico. In each of these incidents video footage has been blasted across the Internet showing the violent actions of women players during soccer games.
"I think it's an incident that you don't see frequently," explained Lilly, who sees the incidents as isolated and made more newsworthy by Youtube. "The part for me that's hard is the game of soccer is so great and then it's focused on that. That's the part we need to bring back and show the great game of soccer."
"That's what Women's Professional Soccer and the Boston Breakers is trying to show."
Lebowitz agreed with Lilly that if the events had happened 20 years ago before the advent of Youtube, the incidents wouldn't have received national attention.
"For that to become the face of New England women's soccer, or for the New Mexico incident to become the face of women's collegiate soccer is just wrong," explained Lebowitz. "When you really look at the growth of women's sports, it's a beautiful growth.
He continued, "It's a growth about healthy development of young women. It's about cognitive development and conflict resolution. It's about competitive spirit and cooperative spirit and working together."
Lebowitz explained that through the media glamorization of incidents like these it "takes away from what sport really is."
Lilly has quickly become the face of Women's Soccer in Boston after starring for the Breakers in their maiden season in the WPS last season. Together with stars Kelly Smith and Alex Scott, Lilly led the Breakers to a 5-7-4 record last season, their first in the newly reformed WPS.
Greater Boston is aired nightly at 7 P.M. on Boston's WGBH Channel 2.
WGBH is PBS’s single largest producer of content for television (prime-time and children’s programs) and the Web. WGBH also is a major supplier of programs heard nationally on public radio. And is a pioneer in educational multimedia and in media access technologies for people with hearing or vision loss.
The previous story is excerpted from a press release by WGBH TV and is reprinted by Bleacher Report writer Todd Civin. Civin is a freelance writer who works as part of the coverage team for the Boston Breakers of the WPS.