Jenni Hermoso

2 minute read
By Mana Shim

There wasn’t a question in Jenni Hermoso’s mind that what Luis Rubiales did to her onstage after her team won the 2023 Women’s World Cup was wrong. When Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation—Hermoso’s boss—grabbed her face and kissed her, millions of us watching live on television knew it was wrong too.

Speaking up in 2021 about my own experience with sexual harassment was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, so I know how much bravery it requires. My decision to come forward helped spur a new era in women’s soccer in the U.S.—but globally, soccer is still controlled by men. Hermoso courageously told her truth, over and over again, despite efforts to silence her. After Spanish players united as one in protest, Rubiales resigned and was eventually banned for three years by FIFA. In the National Women’s Soccer League last summer, my teammates and I were proud to wear her name on our wrist to stand behind her and continue her call for change.

Shim is an athlete and the chair of the U.S. Soccer Participant Safety Taskforce

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