Janine Beckie is one of many players who won’t compete at the 2023 Women’s World Cup as the result of an ACL tear. The Olympic gold medalist for Canada tore her right ACL last month while playing in an NWSL preseason game for the Portland Thorns.
It isn’t news that women’s soccer players are more likely to tear an ACL than their male counterparts. Studies have found that women are up to six times more likely to sustain the injury. But Beckie doesn’t want that stat to become normalized.
“I think that a lot of people have boiled it down for so long to ‘Oh, it’s just more common in women, and a common injury in women’s soccer.’ but it seems like there’s been this massive jump in the amount that it’s happening now. I don’t know what the reason is but someone needs to figure it out,” Beckie told Reuters.
The 28-year-old forward called for more resources for the women as the number of games on the calendar increases.
“You’ve changed the schedule to mimic the men yet you’re not giving the female players the same level of resources,” she said. “Premier League players are playing 40-, 50-plus games a season and are able to maintain fitness levels because they’re treated like gold, which they should be. If you’re going ask an elite athlete to play 50 games a season, you’ve got provide them the top-of-the-line care.”
Beckie isn’t the only sidelined player calling for action.
“I think it’s way too common in the women’s game,” England national Beth Mead recently told FIFPro.
“I think if that had happened in the men’s game, a lot more would have been done sooner. It’s important for us to drive the different factors and aspects around why it’s happening so often.”