In light of the protests that are taking place around the world at the moment, CanPL.ca reached out to Forge FC forward Chris Nanco to see if he’d be interested in writing about his experiences in dealing with racism, and his thoughts on the fight for racial equality and social justice.
Here is his personal essay….
By Chris Nanco, Forge FC
Growing up in Canada and playing soccer throughout my childhood, I had opportunities to travel and experience a large amount of cultural diversity all over the world. As amazing as these trips to places such as Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Central American and North America sound, sometimes it was the opposite.
I lived in the United States for six years, attending school at Syracuse University and playing professionally in Philadelphia before returning home to play in the Canadian Premier League in 2019. Without going too far into it, I am sad to say that I’ve been subjected to racism/inequality just like many of my black brothers and sisters.
Even in some of the most diverse countries, inequality and injustice still occur. Whether you’re a small child, teenager, adult, collegiate athlete, professional, or entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter. Racism sees no boundaries and hurts everybody!
It’s not something to laugh about or brush off. It sticks with you. It builds and piles on and ultimately has the ability to break you. It breaks people, it breaks families, communities, and it breaks the world.
I’ve thought long and hard about how to approach what’s been going on in the world. As someone who’s in a position to use my platform as a professional soccer player and an entrepreneur, I wanted to express a few things:
The moment is now.
The momentum has switched.
CHANGE needs to happen.
It needs to happen now!
I am tired of trying to be accepted.
I am tired of being pulled over and questioned on my way to practice because of my skin colour.
I am tired of receiving looks and being seen as a criminal.
I am tired of living in a society that is set up for my failure.
I am tired of trying to create a better life for my loved ones when it can be torn away at any moment.
I AM TIRED!!!
But I will never stop fighting!
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and truly is a global game. It brings people of all races together, but yet there is still racism that goes on within the game.
So what I ask from you as viewers, fans, and people that love the beautiful game, is to help us.
Help us kick racism out of the game and out of the world! Help us create equality in all countries. Help us move forward on the path of solidarity and unify the one race that really matters – the human race.
Take the time to learn and continue to educate yourself and those around you, as I will too. Then create strategies on ways to bring forth positivity on this topic.
This has been going on for far too long and literally makes me sick to my stomach, as it should you. The movement got me thinking and reflecting on my life, both past and present on what I could have done in certain situations and what I should do now in order to create a better future. Not only for me, but for the millions of people who share the same skin colour as me that will be born into this world or are already living in it.
I am passionate about my people. I am passionate about equality. I am passionate about ending racism and I am passionate about getting justice. My people are hurting and enough is enough.
Visit my Instagram (@chrisnanco) to see how you can get involved if you want to help those who have wrongfully been arrested for peacefully protesting.
Stay safe, and remember that YOU matter!