In a Q&A for UVAToday, White, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and a former soccer player for Phillips Academy Andover and Amherst, talks about his new book, Soccer in American Culture: The Beautiful Game’s Struggle for Status (University of Missouri Press).
The Q&A begins with a question from interviewer Whitelaw Reid about how, in the mid-20th-century United States, “the sport didn’t have the kind of popularity that it did in other parts of the world.” “[A]t at both Andover and Amherst, the teams I played on had good equipment and good practice and game fields,” White says. “I do remember some supportive comments from fans at home games. But on the whole, we played in obscurity.”
The interview continues with discussion of the more recent “renaissance” in Americans’ enjoyment of men’s and women’s soccer, as both spectators and players. White attributes this to a number of factors, including the passage of Title IX in the 1970s, changes to the organizations of soccer leagues, and “the digital revolution [that] has expanded the capacity of Americans to play and watch sports.”