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Forced kiss on a soccer player: “There is nothing trivial about this gesture and progressive organizations like ours must denounce it loud and clear” – Annette Toth, President of COPE/SEPB

The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE/SEPB) stands with the millions of people around the world to denounce the forced kiss suffered by soccer player Jenni Hermoso after the Spanish women’s team win at the World Cup on August 20th.

In the festivities after the victory, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales took Ms. Hermoso’s head in his hands and then kissed her on the mouth without her consent.

“This gesture is not trivial and progressive organizations like ours must denounce this gender based physical assault. With movements like #MeToo, our message is clear and it can no longer be ignored: this behavior is completely unacceptable.” said COPE/SEPB President Annette Toth.

Not Just a Kiss

In the days following the assault, many people leapt defend Luis Rubiales, calling his actions a “a simple kiss”. The only thing simple is this: Luis Rubiales must be removed from his position of power, immediately.

“To trivialize this assault is to invalidate the discomfort and indignation of millions of people who witnessed the scene live. What’s more, this trivialization validates the rape culture in which our society has found itself for too long. We say no, enough is enough! There is no place for this kind of behavior in our world,” concludes Ms. Toth.

As a progressive union COPE/SEPB stands up for fairness, dignity, and respect for all. We are committed to breaking down barriers and fighting against systems of oppression and discrimination, in society and within our own structures. We will not be silent.