As a group, the women’s soccer team made a decision to travel to Dallas, Texas to play two matches during such a controversial time. This Texas trip to play has been planned for the last year and a half, with COVID being the primary reason it kept getting postponed. While preparing for this trip and the season, the state passed the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, banning abortion as early as six weeks.
The team then faced a decision: opt out of the two games we were planning on playing in Texas to make a statement as a team or go and play the games and make a statement in a different way. The team felt granted with an opportunity; an opportunity that allowed them to speak out about injustices.
We decided we wanted to stand up for what we believed in, together. Instead of our regular warm-up gear, we made t-shirts read “WOMEN SUPPORT WOMEN” in bright, bold pink letters. Being a young group of women, the team knew this was the perfect time to take an opportunity to show that they stood with the women facing injustices in Texas.
As a team, we felt as though traveling and playing there made a statement; we were right there in the middle of the controversy and we hoped to make an impact no matter how small. Showing other women there that we simply supported them or could potentially spark a conversation on other college campuses through traveling there..
The team decided on “WOMEN SUPPORT WOMEN” on the warm-up shirts because it was broad enough that we could address other injustices but was specific enough to address the current issue at hand.
Showing empathy and compassion towards women was worth the risk of people disagreeing with our statement in Texas. We hoped that our shirts would show not only our opponents that we stood with them, but all women. We wanted to show that we had all womens back during a time where it felt like even their own home did not. — Emily Rutkowski
Emily Rutkowski is a sophomore from Mesa, Arizona. She enjoys playing soccer for the women's soccer team here at Pacific University. In her free time, she loves being outdoors and socializing with friends and family.