Those Who Call Female Footballers Lesbians Need Help – Uwak

Uwak is not one to hide her feelings over the ill-treatment of women
footballers in Nigeria.
African Women’s Player of the Year, Cynthia Uwak has addressed the issue of
lesbianism in the female football world, saying it’s a general issue. Uwak who didn’t
accept lesbianism happens in her field says, anyone could be lesbians and asked
of people have been to secondary schools were it exists and she wonders if they
will call the secondary school students who are lesbians footballers too. She
also said those who think that way are one-way people and are indeed blinded to
the truth. Below is what she said to Tana Aiyejina.

How do you
feel when women footballers are termed lesbians because of the way they look?
I wouldn’t
say football makes people masculine. There are lots of players you wouldn’t
even know play football. I have a lot of friends who are tomboys but they don’t
play football and they look masculine; like they are into sports. People jump
into conclusions because they see you dressed this way. People’s mentality is
different. There are a lot of the players who wear make-up and dress feminine.
I don’t like to wear make-up and that doesn’t mean it’s because I play
football. Before I started playing football, I was a tomboy climbing trees and
playing with boys. But these people are so blinded; they look at one side and
don’t see the other side of the world. It’s not only women footballers who are
like that; there are a lot of them out there who don’t do sports. I wouldn’t
judge someone based on their looks or what they wear. It’s not my business to
be concerned about another person’s personal life because that won’t put food
on my table. If you go to boarding schools, they still say this thing
(lesbianism) exists. Does it mean these people play football?
There is
this impression that women footballers who move in twos are usually lesbians…

There is
freedom of speech and you can’t tell people what they should or should not say.
Labelling people just because they are friends is not right. Have you caught them
practice lesbianism? This thing happens and it’s not like it’s new. If you play
for the Falcons, then your mentality should be different. You don’t dwell on
such things; I don’t allow irrelevant issues affect me because what they say
won’t stop me from where I’m going. It’s a mental thing and you just have to
expect people to keep talking. The energy they use in labelling female
footballers lesbians, if they use it well, it will add value to women’s
football. But people would rather criticise you than try to build and lift you
up. I don’t let what anybody say affect me. If you stop and throw stones at
every dog that barks, you will never get to your destination. You can’t change
the discrimination. Majority of these people, if they ask you out and you don’t
accept, they jump into conclusion and start to cook up stories.

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