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Jenni Hermoso breaks silence on Spain’s ‘pressure’ campaign since kiss

Jenni Hermoso is Spain's all-time leading goal scorer. (Photo By Francisco Guerra/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Jenni Hermoso is done keeping quiet.

After Spain’s victory in the World Cup final last week, Hermoso, Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer, was kissed on the lips by Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF). Hermoso downplayed the incident at first, but not anymore.

“The situation shocked me given the celebrations that were taking place at the moment, and with the passage of time and after delving a little deeper into those initial feelings, I feel the need to report this incident because I believe that no person, in any work, sports or social setting should be the victim of those types of non-consensual behaviors,” Hermoso said in a statement. “I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part.”

The gesture quickly sparked widespread condemnation, prompting Rubiales to apologize in a video disseminated to the media, and insisted it was “consensual.”

In her latest statement, Hermoso denied “his kiss was ever consensual.”

“I have been under continuous pressure to make a statement that could justify Mr. Luis Rubiales’ actions,” she said. “Not only that, but in different ways and through different people, the RFEF has pressured my surroundings (family, friends, teammates, etc.) to give a testimony that had little or nothing to do with my feelings.”

Hermoso added that she will join her teammates in refraining from playing for Spain while “the current leaders remain.”

“I do not have to support the person who has committed this action against my will, without respecting me, at a historic moment for me and for women’s sports in this country,” she wrote. “Under no circumstances can it be my responsibility to bear the consequences of conveying something I do not believe in, which is why I have refused the pressures received.”