University of Michigan

Referee organization working to level the field for women

Referee organization working to level the field for women

One of the greatest compliments Christina Unkel received in her long career as a soccer official came the time a player addressed her as “sir.”

“It’s weird thing,” she said. “They’re like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry.’ I’m like, ‘No, it’s great. I’m glad you forgot that I’m a girl. That’s helpful. That means you’re not focused on that.’”

Unkel has stood out most of her adult life, pursuing a double major in college, earning a law degree and learning a second language.

But on the soccer field, she’s spent much of her time trying to blend in, mainly working games in the National Women’s Soccer League and numerous age-group tournaments. Because while women can run major corporations,...

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