Crystal Palace Women goalkeeper Lucy Gillett says she suffered sexist abuse during the FA Women’s Championship game at Coventry United. The 26-year-old alleged that during the first half of Palace’s 3-2 win that a group of spectators called for the referee to “check the gender” of some of her team’s players.
“In my 18 years of playing I’ve never had verbal abuse directly aimed at myself right behind my goal. It was an unpleasant experience,” the American told the BBC. “If it was a racist comment it wouldn’t be tolerated. We have had players walk off pitches for racist comments. Maybe I should have walked off the pitch in that match.”
Coventry United said they were aware of the allegations in a statement on the club’s official Twitter account.
It read: “Coventry United FC is aware of the allegations made; ref. our home game on January 12th. We are investigating the matter carefully, with the close support of the Football Association. Until the investigations are complete, CUFC staff or players will be making no further comment.”
Kick It Out said in a statement: “Sexist and discriminatory abuse is completely unacceptable and we welcome The FA investigation into the allegations made by Lucy Gillett. We have reached out to Crystal Palace Women to offer our full support to the club and player.
“Discrimination is prevalent across society and it’s no surprise that incidents will occur in the women’s game too – so we urge anyone to report abuse if they see or hear it.”