Premier League passion in the US: Sylvia's story

2 Feb 2022
Sylvia CHE

A Chelsea fan in Pullman, Washington is hoping her voice can help elevate black women and players

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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 Chelsea fan Sylvia, who not only works in student affairs at Washington State University, but also has her own podcast.


"I think there are a lot more black women who watch soccer than people know and I think we just see soccer through a different lens.

"While watching the game, it’s really exciting to see a black player excel and be proud to represent their country and continent.

"For me, seeing Didier Drogba do that is a big part of what drew me to Chelsea. I think he is representative of the very best of what Chelsea can be.

"I loved seeing how much he loved the club and found ways to help Chelsea win. You don’t find players like that every day. The ones who, the bigger the moment, the better they play. Because that’s certainly not me!

"My stage is different. I’ve got two of them. First, I work in student affairs at Washington State University. A lot of them are first generation college students.

"I work closely with a smaller group of students, so I get to build these strong relationships and get to know them through the ups and the downs.

Sylvia CHE 2

"The best part about my job is watching these young people grow into themselves. Every one of them deserves a chance.

"Chelsea captures that for me as well, you see Mason Mount, Reece James, and academy players come through like that, it makes you proud.

"The other stage is the podcast I helped create, called the Shea Butter FC podcast, alongside my co host Skye.

"As you can see from the shirt I’m wearing, our goal has always been to have black women and black players in mind. Like I said, I think we have a different lens in how we see the game.

"Voices like ours aren't really a prominent feature, particularly in the mainstream of this sport, so podcasting is great in that it's sort of easy access and a foot in the door. We’d do it even if nobody listened, but surprisingly people do.

Proud to be Chelsea

"Soccer is a microcosm of culture. So I think having diverse perspectives in soccer can elevate it to larger societal things which is really important.

"Also, we do it just to have fun. It’s a blast picking the music, talking about fashion and books too.

"Of course, Chelsea is brought up too. Skye is currently a Premier League free-agent so we joke about that, and she pokes fun at Chelsea often.

"But even through the ups and downs, just like Drogba, I’m proud to be who I am, and I’m proud to be Chelsea.”

See: Premier League passion in the US: Fans' stories

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