Feature

Premier League passion in the US: Samantha's story

27 Feb 2021
Samantha, PLinUSA2

Liverpool fan from Washington explains why the style and fashion of soccer fostered her love for the game

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This season the Premier League's US Instagram account, @PLinUSA, has been highlighting the passionate, diverse PL fandom from coast to coast in the series Premier League passion in the US: Fans' stories.

Meet Samantha, a Liverpool fan in Washington DC whose growing fandom helped her see the black influence in soccer across America.

All photos were shot by Mel D. Cole as part of his involvement with #PLFansOfAmerica.

Samantha

"I was introduced to Liverpool a few years ago, and I must be good luck because they’ve been so good since then!

"I grew up watching basketball, and I found the energy in soccer to be reminiscent of basketball. The passion of the fans and seeing a whole room come to life - I’ve never been in a room full of sports fans before where people were so deeply proud of what they were cheering for and representing.

"Soccer also attracted me because it presents itself as a sport with style and fashion. The way soccer athletes are able to have such a presence in them is incredible, and only really rivalled by the NBA draft where they highlight fashion.

"I think it's easy to point at times where soccer might've been a little bit more whitewashed and there might've been racial innuendos as far as black people not liking soccer.

"Previously, I would say that I didn’t see that much representation for black people in the sport. But as I got older, I travelled more, and I started to understand what soccer meant to people in other countries, and my awareness started growing.

"Getting more involved and becoming a fan, I've been fortunate enough to meet amazing people who further affirm that there's just no room for that stigma to be true anymore.

Samantha, PLinUSA1

"As black fans, we're definitely starting to make our mark. So much of what we take pride in comes from how we present ourselves, our music and style.

"It feels almost as if our birthright comes from how we express ourselves, and that comes forward with music and style.

"The ways that soccer has adapted in America has a lot to do with those characteristics. The style and fashion have the flare of soccer and our cultural context in it.

"The jersey I wear and how I wear it, it isn’t meaningless, it is my own story.”

More stories in this series

Premier League passion in the US: Fans' stories

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