Crystal Palace goalkeeper Chloe Morgan has been named on the Football Black List alongside Marcus Rashford and club teammate Wilfred Zaha, among others.
Morgan has been shortlisted for the Cyrille Regis Players section for her efforts in raising awareness for the LGBT and BAME communities within women’s football.
The Palace number one was honoured by the nomination and believes this has been a great year for sports people in taking a more active role in social injustice.
She said: “I was completely shocked. I had no idea that it was happening. I feel very privileged to be alongside someone like Rashford who has campaigned tirelessly for children’s free school meals.
“I’m incredibly proud but I have to appreciate that there’s a lot of names that weren’t included on the list who have done some amazing things this year.
“For me it’s always been important to speak out about inequality. That is something I hold dear, it’s very close to my heart.
“I think it’s been important for me this year to step up and take a more active role in speaking out about things I feel passionate about.
“It is important to continue this momentum going forward and for the team to speak out. If you don’t the position never changes and things never improve and that’s more dangerous than anything else.
“I work with kids in the community and my main focus there is to not have a situation where these kids are growing up and they reach my age and the position hasn’t changed.”
The pandemic, and in particular the second lockdown, has had a disproportionately worse impact on the women’s game with the FA Cup, academies and the majority of league play suspended.
Morgan, who also works as a goalkeeping coach and diversity and inclusion officer for Goal Diggers FC, is disappointed by the response of the FA, and concerned about the long-term effects this may have.
She said: “I think more can be done by the FA and I’m fairly critical of them, but clubs need to step up a little bit more in terms of the equality of resources that are afforded to their boys and girls academies and also their women’s and men’s teams.
“I can understand you want players to be playing in a safe environment but at the same time you need to invest money to make that position more equal.
“There has to be that equality and sometimes equality means putting your hand in your pocket.”
Morgan joined Crystal Palace this summer after parting ways with Super League side Tottenham.
Palace have not played in three weeks and currently sit seventh in the Championship, but Morgan is confident there are exciting things to come.
She added: “Nothing can really replace the feeling and experience you have of actually playing those games. We just came off back-to-back wins as well and it would have been great to carry the momentum going forwards and take it to the next week but it is what it is.
“For me, my main reason for joining Palace was their ambition. I love the ethos and mentality of working towards taking the club to the next stage and making history.
“I’m loving being back out on the pitch and playing with the squad because there is some incredible talent on the team.
“The Championship is wide open. It’s too early to say.
“For us it’s about working with the squad and building strength. I don’t think were hell-bent for leather on promotion this season, but it is definitely within our eyeline in the near future.”
Morgan returns to action this Sunday as Palace take on Liverpool.
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