The NWSL announced on Tuesday that it had fined the Chicago Red Stars “for violation of a league directive.” That’s a vague reason for a fine, but according to Grant Wahl it stems from part-owner Sarah Spain’s public support of Sarah Gorden, and Gorden’s allegations that she was racially profiled following the Red Stars’ Challenge Cup opener against the Houston Dash.
The NWSL is actively investigating those claims, and in the meantime told its board of governors not to comment on the situation, according to Wahl. But Spain sent this quote tweet of Red Stars defender Casey Short Krueger’s statement on behalf of the team.
This all began when Gorden said she and her boyfriend were harassed by a Houston Dash staff member following their game last Friday. The Dash said the staff member was trying to enforce COVID-19 protocols, however Gorden says she and her boyfriend were the only ones targeted, while white players spoke to their white family freely.
The Dash have since apologized for failing to mention the possibility of racial profiling in their inital apology.
Red Stars assistant coach Scott Parkinson has also publicly corroborated Gorden’s story.
“It seemed to me that Sarah and her three Black friends were the only ones being addressed in this way and it was extremely upsetting,” Parkinson said in a Twitter post. “I was angry and gave the staff member a piece of my mind… He was arrogant and didn’t seem to care, honestly.
“As we left the field I was pointing to him to deal with the other players interacting with other fans, but he wouldn’t. He was arrogantly telling me, ‘I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you,’ because I was shouting at him.
“In the moment my instincts told me they were being unfairly treated because of the color of their skin.”