NWSL players rip FIFA 23’s ‘offensive and inauthentic’ portrayals in video game release

The NWSL was introduced in the latest FIFA video game this week for the first time in the league's history.

The National Women’s Soccer League officially made it into FIFA 23, the iconic soccer video game, Wednesday for the first time.

There’s just one glaring problem: Many of the women’s players aren’t happy with how their video game alter egos turned out.

And, especially in the case of goalie Katie Stengel, some of them were really, really bad.

Plenty of other big names in the league, including Sydney Leroux, Madison Hammond, Jessica McDonald and Kailen Sheridan, sounded off on how their characters were portrayed in the game on Twitter.

The fact that the NWSL is playable in the Electronic Arts video game is huge by itself. It’s a big milestone ahead of the league’s 11th season officially kicking off this weekend.

But the very blatant and wild mistakes that game developers made when integrating the league into the game did not go unnoticed — and the NWSL Players Association isn’t having it.

The NWSL is officially in FIFA 23, but many characters aren't happy with how their video game alter egos turned out. (Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images)

“We insist on immediate action from EA to rectify the offensive and inauthentic portrayals of players of color in FIFA 23, which were released yesterday,” NWSLPA executive director Meghann Burke said in a statement, via CNN. “The NWSL Players Association, alongside our agent OneTeam Partners, has a dedicated gaming team actively working with EA to resolve this matter.”

The North Carolina Courage will host Kansas City on Saturday to officially open the regular season, and the San Diego Wave will host the Chicago Red Stars that night to conclude opening day. The remaining eight teams in the league will play on Sunday.