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What #MismaPasiòn told us

The debate over gender equality in football has dropped very low

What #MismaPasiòn told us   The debate over gender equality in football has dropped very low

Maria Isabel Rodriguez - formerly Misa Rodriguez - is a women's Real Madrid goalkeeper, who posted a photo with Marco Asensio on Twitter on Tuesday night after his men's team-ups had won the Champions League with Liverpool. They were two different photos joined in one, both figures had almost the same pose, and the kicker had written in the caption: #MismaPasiòn - same passion. 

Because many Instagram users may not be able to accept that two players from the same club, even if they are of different sex, manage to be put on an equal footing. Especially when it comes to sport passion. In fact, under Rodriguez's post, hundreds of comments appeared with sexist insults. The footballer deleted the photo, but hours later, it was Marco Asensio himself who defended his colleague with a post on Twitter. He wrote #MismaPasiòn, just as Misa had done, and his repost triggered a sequence of sensitivity and solidarity. They came from colleagues, colleagues, professionals from other sports and fans, Real Madrid and other teams.

In Italy there have been problematic cases in this regard: Fulvio Collovati said live "Women can not talk about tactics, when I hear that they do turn my stomach", or, more likely the Misa case, when Barbara Bonansea received sexist comments under a photo with Cristiano Ronaldo after being included in FIFA's Women's Top XI 2020 (moreover, not even in his profile, but in the comments to a post by Calciatori Brutti).

Since the BLM protests began in May 2020, footballers have been reporting much more about the racial discrimination and offenses they receive on social media. That join, then, those who received people at the stadium, with cases such as those of Dani Alves (in Barcelona) or Raheem Sterling (in London); likewise, footballers experience a fundamental difficulty in getting accepted without forms of controversy in high-level football. In addition, since social media doesn't take equally strict measures against users who abuse freedom of expression online, some teams have chosen not to post anything for a few days as a protest.

If Misa Rodriguez receives derogatory insults on the internet and the only ones interested are footballers and footballers (and Marca, a Spanish newspaper that put history on the front page on April 8) then you are not going anywhere. The recognition of gender equality in football takes place when the two sexes are integrated into the same sport and work is done to maintain that structure. But it can't be an internal battle, and most importantly, you don't just win with hashtags.

As English football clubs have denounced, it is social media that must be activated in censorship and prevention, because they are private companies that have a public (fundamental) role. Their use has political, economic and social effects, so if the world of football still has problems accepting that a girl or girl plays ball - and that's a stupid thing - banning people from saying it with insults is one of the first forms of evolution. Probably, Asensio helped to make the story of Misa Rodriguez known and precisely, the fact that in the world people have noticed this episode only through a male footballer is in itself sexist - and that is the real problem. The total integration of women into football is well under way, but in the meantime, in order to help this transition, we need the necessary intervention from the institutions. Or #MismaPasiòn's just going to be a hashtag.