Online trolls launched a racist attack on a Swedish soccer player. His team had 2 words.

People can get pretty competitive with sports, and the World Cup is no exception.

Every four years, people from all over the world come together to watch nail-biting soccer matches. Some fans hope and pray their country's team advances to the next round for a chance at becoming World Cup champions. As a result, a lot of intense passion gets poured into every soccer game.

‌Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images‌.


With all that fervor for the game often comes criticism for players, coaches, and teams. But there's a clear line between critiquing a player and straight up abuse, and some fans don't hesitate in crossing over.

Unfortunately, Swedish midfielder Jimmy Durmaz was subject to some of that abuse.

On June 30, 2018, online trolls targeted Durmaz with racist abuse after his foul against a German soccer player ended up giving Germany the game-winning penalty kick.

‌Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand /AFP/Getty Images‌.

Soon after Sweden's upsetting loss, Durmaz — the Swedish son of Assyrian immigrants from Turkey — received an onslaught of racist epithets and name-calling. Some called the soccer player the "Arab devil," a "terrorist," and made references to suicide bombings. The trolls also went so far as to threaten his family and children.

But Durmaz refused to stay silent in the face of racism.

Durmaz said he understands that playing soccer professionally on an international stage comes with criticism. But what he finds completely unacceptable is the racially charged taunts toward him and the threats made against his family.

So, right before the Swedish team's training session on the next day, July 1, Durmaz stood alongside his coach, Janne Andersson, and his teammates and spoke up.

Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images.

"When someone threatens me, when they call me darkie, bloody Arab, terrorist, Taliban … then that limit has been passed," Durmaz said. "And what is even worse, when they go after my family and my children and threaten them … who the hell does that kind of thing?"

Durmaz then added:

“I am Swedish and I am proud to represent the Swedish national team – it is the biggest thing you can do as a footballer. I will never let any racists destroy my pride. We all have to make a stand against racism."

Photo by Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images.

After Durmaz finished making his statement, the entire team and coaching staff said two words in unison: "Fuck racism."

Though the message is short, it's powerful.

While it's important to be patient when possible and use balanced arguments to dismantle racism, sometimes there are exceptions to that rule.

Recipients of abuse don't owe their abusers civility. And sometimes it's best to beat evil by calling it for what it is. By standing alongside Durmaz, his coach and teammates helped do just that.

They refused to allow the World Cup to be used as a vehicle for racism and injustice. Instead, they reminded us what it's really about: bringing people together and celebrating our global diversity.

Most importantly, they advocated for their teammate and used their platform as world-class athletes to stand up for victims of racist abuse not just on the soccer field, but all around the world.

You can watch Durmaz make his statement here:‌‌

Correction 7/10/2018: A previous version of this story indicated Durmaz was Muslim. It has been corrected to reflect only that he is the son of Assyrian immigrants from Turkey.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

This article originally appeared on 5.7.15



The Story of Bottled Water www.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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