England’s Beth Mead, Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfö and the U.S. women’s national team’s Alex Morgan were among the many international soccer stars who voiced their support for Jenni Hermoso amid Spain’s World Cup controversy.
Hermoso and her teammates have called for leadership changes at the Spanish soccer federation after president Luis Rubiales’ unsolicited kiss of Hermoso at the World Cup final. Rubiales has refused to resign from his position, describing the growing backlash against him as a “social assassination” by “false feminists.” The Spanish government plans to suspend Rubiales during its investigation of the incident.
“So does he actually think he is the victim?” Swiss star Lia Wälti wrote. “The whole world has seen what happened. Makes me feel sick!
“With you, Jenni Hermoso, and with the rest of the team who deserves so much better than that!”
From the USWNT, Morgan echoed sentiments similar to those shared by teammate Megan Rapinoe earlier in the week, saying she was “disgusted” by Rubiales’ actions. Tobin Heath, who won the 2019 World Cup with Morgan and Rapinoe, called out the Spanish federation’s “patriarchy, sexism and misogyny.”
Mana Shim, who helped bring to light the coaching abuse scandal in the NWSL, called Rubiales’ refusal to resign “horrifying.”
“If we can’t agree to punish sexual misconduct caught on video in front of millions, how can women anywhere in football feel safe?” Shim wrote.
Portuguese star Jéssica Silva called out Rubiales, saying in her native language: “Let measures be taken!” She also called Rubiales’ speech “disturbing” and said repercussions should have happened “yesterday.”
“The footballers of the Spanish national team made history!” she wrote. “They were world champions for the first time!” she wrote. “And now they should be celebrating, without controversy, just with joy! However, they are fighting for something that should be common to all of us… RESPECT.”
O DISCURSO DO PRESIDENTE RUBIALES É, NO MÍNIMO, INQUIETANTE. QUE SE TOMEM MEDIDAS! “ONTEM” ‼️— Jéssica Silva (@jessiicasilva10) August 25, 2023
O DISCURSO DO PRESIDENTE RUBIALES É, NO MÍNIMO, INQUIETANTE. QUE SE TOMEM MEDIDAS! “ONTEM” ‼️
Canada’s Janine Beckie called the behavior of the Spanish federation “unacceptable” and expressed support for Hermoso.
“No one, no player should EVER have to experience the behavior that we’ve seen from so called leaders in the Spanish federation & the continued actions suggesting this behavior is ‘normal’,” she wrote. “Unacceptable. Jenni Hermoso, we’re with you.”
Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen, meanwhile, called Rubiales speech “all lies.” Graham Hansen plays with Hermoso for Spanish club FC Barcelona.
“We all see what really happened,” she wrote.
@Jennihermoso with you! This is all lies. We all see what really happened— Caroline Hansen (@CarolineGrahamH) August 25, 2023
@Jennihermoso with you! This is all lies. We all see what really happened
Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfö, meanwhile, called for change.
“No-one should ever have to fight in their place of work for respect, to feel safe or for their basic human rights,” she wrote. “Things have to change. I stand with Jenni Hermoso and the Spanish team.”
No-one should ever have to fight in their place of work for respect, to feel safe or for their basic human rights. Things have to change. I stand with @Jennihermoso and the Spanish team ✊— Fridolina Rolfö (@FridolinaRolfo) August 25, 2023
No-one should ever have to fight in their place of work for respect, to feel safe or for their basic human rights. Things have to change. I stand with @Jennihermoso and the Spanish team ✊
England star Beth Mead said that women’s soccer in general and the Spanish players in particular “deserve more.”
“No players should have to endure this,” she said. “It’s unacceptable, and also laughable that these men still are allowed so much power. Jenni Hermoso, we are all with you.”