Unless you live under a rock, or you’re one of those people that goes out of their way to avoid current events, you’re probably more-or-less up to date on what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. The otherwise-peaceful college town became the center of gravity in an ongoing political crisis in the United States surrounding the ascendancy of violent white nationalism and the tacit legitimization by an Executive Branch who, remarkably, needed three days and no small amount of goading to go on television and explicitly say that Nazis are bad.
This is one of those stories that can hit uncomfortably close to home. And indeed, there’s a connection to Chicago soccer.
Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico is a graduate of the University of Virginia, whose campus is situated in Charlottesville. Colaprico played for the Cavaliers from 2011 to 2014 before being selected by the Red Stars in the 2015 NWSL College Draft. She holds the record at UVA for the most appearances (100) and the most assists (44).
Following Saturday’s tough 3-2 loss to Portland on Saturday, our own Sandra Herrera caught up with Colaprico to get her thoughts on the game. She also asked what her thoughts were on the (still developing, at the time) situation in Charlottesville. Here’s what she had to say:
“... it was really sad to see some of the stuff that’s going on there. I’ve never experienced that at UVA and it’s something I don’t think anyone there would have ever expected to happen and it’s just sad to see. It was hard to watch. Especially because it’s live footage and some of the things that were happening were really awful. I had to turn it off after 5 minutes because I just couldn’t watch anymore. A sad time. It’s just awful to see so much destruction happening on such a beautiful campus. There are so many good people there, and I think this gives it a bad look.”
Even with all her media coaching and her efforts to measure her words carefully, Colaprico still managed to do a better job of publicly responding to the violence in Charlottesville this weekend with more authentic grace and aplomb than the President of the United States.
This incident, and the ways it can hit very close to home, show exactly how bullshit the “stick to sports” meme really is.