For all the criticism FIFA takes for its views toward women, it really doesn't get enough credit for the resolute manner by which it clings to those outdated attitudes.
Take, for example, Alex Morgan. If you pay any attention to the USWNT, you know that Morgan is the star of the team. She's the engine that keeps the team humming, and no one on the field is able to impact a game as well as her.
She rightfully deserves special attention from FIFA, and a new feature on the organization's website grants her that spotlight.
The result, though, is a bit problematic.
"Alex Morgan is one of the most popular players in USA women’s football," according to FIFA's website. "A talented goalscorer with a style that is very easy on the eye and good looks to match, she is nothing short of a media phenomenon."
FIFA site lead story, lead graph on Alex Morgan: "with a style that is very easy on the eye and good looks to match" https://t.co/Qm91cZUQlV
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 30, 2015
So it's more of the same from FIFA: A sexist lede to start discussing the all-world talents of one of America's stars.
Except the next paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with her on-field performance or relevance to this year's Women's World Cup.
"There is more to Morgan than meets the eye, however. A successful children's writer, she has just published Hat Trick, the fourth book in her series 'The Kicks.'"
The way FIFA's written this, it seems to be doing everything it can to avoid discussing Morgan as an accomplished superstar. This is like discussing Michael Jordan by first mentioning his Chicago steak house. Or describing who Michael Phelps is by talking about his endorsement deal with Subway.
— Julie Foudy (@JulieFoudy) June 30, 2015
But beyond being offensive to Morgan, the article is perhaps the most utterly useless thing you could read about the Women's World Cup on the day of a semifinal match. It featured the top two teams in the world, and FIFA wants us to ogle Alex Morgan.
Sure, Morgan is fun to look at, but it's mostly because she's better at soccer than pretty much anyone else on the field.