USWNT star Megan Rapinoe has sounded off on the kiss which is being discussed around the world.
Spain beat England to win the Women’s World Cup on Sunday, but the moment was not without controversy as Spain’s Football Federation’s president Luis Rubiales kissed a member of the team on her lips during the ceremony in which the winners were being presented their gold medals.
Rubiales was also seen grabbing his crotch in celebration during the game.
The player, Jenni Hermoso, played down the incident, chalking it up to excitement, though she admitted being uncomfortable. But Rapinoe has taken a harder stance, accusing Rubiales of assault while pointing out how some of the Spanish players who protested poor treatment last year have been frozen out of the team.
“It made me think about how much we are required to endure,” the 38-year-old told The Atlantic. “Think how much that Spanish team had to shoulder: Some of the players who stood up way back last year [to protest poor treatment by their coach and federation] still aren’t on the team. Maybe that was something that galvanized them, but you shouldn’t have to have that.
“There was another picture that signals such a deep level of misogyny and sexism in that federation and in that man [Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish soccer federation] at the final whistle, just grabbing his crotch. What kind of upside-down world are we in? On the biggest stage, where you should be celebrating, Jenni [Hermoso, the Spanish midfielder who was kissed by Rubiales] has to be physically assaulted by this guy.”
The soccer chief has since apologized for the kiss.
Rapinoe, who represented the USWNT at the tournament, missed a crucial penalty in a loss to Sweden that ended the USA’s participation at the round of 16 stage.
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