No one should be exposed to this
This week, we learned that certain World Cup results mean an increase in incidents of domestic violence in the UK, and now, a female journalist reporting from the World Cup in Russia has been assaulted by a fan during a live broadcast. Judith Gonzalez Theran, a Colombian correspondent, was delivering a piece to camera when a fan forcibly kissed and groped her.
The incident, which occurred last week, came to light when Gonzalez Theran’s employer, DW, drew attention to the attack by posting a clip on social media. The network emphasised, ‘Sexual harassment is not okay. It needs to stop. In football, and elsewhere.’
After the interruption, Gonzalez Theran continued her report, but has addressed the incident online since then, saying, ‘We do not deserve this treatment… we are equally valuable and professional.’
The incident somehow manages to take an even darker turn when Gonzalez Theran appeared to suggest that this assault was premeditated, as her and her crew had been setting up in the location for two hours previously. She revealed, ‘When we went live, this fan took advantage of the situation… but afterwards, when I checked to see if he was still there, he was gone.’ She added, ‘There are always fans that compliment you and behave respectfully. This one went too far.’
Unfortunately, sexual harassment of female sports reporters is nothing new, and clearly not limited to just football.
Earlier this year, a group of 52 Brazilian sports correspondents banded together and launched a campaign with the slogan #DeixaElaTrabalhar (Let Her Work) to combat harassment from both fans and players when they are working.
On top of this, last year, 21-year-old tennis player Maxime Hamou was banned by the organisers of the French Open for ‘reprehensible behaviour’ after repeatedly trying to kiss a female reporter during an interview, in spite of her clear discomfort.
Time is up.