Jenni Hermoso has called out Luis Rubiales’ “false” comments about the non-consensual kiss that the Spanish FA president gave the forward.
At a press conference on Friday, Rubiales was widely expected to announce his resignation following his deplorable actions in the wake of Spain’s historic Women’s World Cup triumph in Australia.
However, instead, Rubiales refused to leave his current post and insisted that the kiss was “spontaneous, mutual and consensual”, stating that “she told me, ‘You are a star’, and I said, ‘A little peck?’ and it happened.”
That odd remark has now been confirmed by Hermoso as being totally fabricated in a statement released on her social media channels – a statement she also accused the RFEF of putting “pressure” on her family and friends in an attempt to coerce the Spanish forward into saying something to alleviate the pressure on Rubialies.
Here’s Hermoso’s statement in full:
After achieving one of the most important objectives of my sports career and after a few days of reflection, I want to sincerely thank my teammates, fans, followers, media, and everyone who has made this dream come true; your work and unconditional support were a fundamental part of winning the World Cup.
Sadly, the ability to celebrate that has been cut short. While it is true that I do not want to interfere with the multiple ongoing legal processes, I feel obliged to report that Mr. Luis Rubiales’ words explaining the unfortunate incident are categorically fales and part of the manipulative culture that he himself has generated.
I want to make it clear that at no time did the conversation to which Mr. Luis Rubiales referes to in his address take place, and, above all, was his kiss ever consensual. I want to reiterated as I did before that I did not like this incident.
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 a victim of these types of non-consensual behaviours. I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part.
Simply put, I was not respected.
I was asked to make a joint statement to alleviate the pressure on the president, but at that moment all I had in my mind was to enjoy the historic milestone achieved with my teammates. For this reason, I always conveyed to the RFEF and its various interlocutors, as well as to media and people I trust, that I would not make any individual or joint statements on this matter, as I understood that doing so would take even more prominence away from such a special moment for my teammates and me.
Despite my decision, I must state that I have been under continuous pressure to make a statement that could justify Mr. Luis Rubiales’ actions. 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.
It is not up to me to evaluate communication and integrity practices, but I am sure that as the World Cup champions, we as a team do not deserve such a manipulative, hostile, and controlling culture. These types of incidents add to a long list of situations that the players have been denouncing in recent years. This incident, one in which I have been involved, is the final straw and what everyone has been able to witness on live television during the celebrations also comes with attitudes like the one we saw this morning and have been part of our team’s daily life for years.
For all these reasons, I want to reinforce the position I took from the beginning, considering that 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. 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.
I have ZERO TOLERANCE for these behaviours.
I want to conclude by making it very clear that while it is I who is expressing these words, it is all the players from Spain and around the world who have given me the strength to come out with this statement. In the face of such a display of disrespect and inability to recognise one’s own mistakes and take responsibility, I state here and now to everyone of my decision not to play for the national team again while the current leaders remain.
Thank you all for the messages of support and encouraging words received. I know I am not alone, and thanks to all of you, we will push forward more united than ever. I leave this matter in the hands of TMJ and FUTPRO, and the people I trust. They will continue working on the next neccesary steps.