Luis Rubiales, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), shouts from the podium “I am not going to resign!” He repeats it several times and his words are received with applause from those attending the Extraordinary General Assembly of the RFEF.
And so, the man who kissed the player Jennifer Hermoso without his consent during the celebration of the victory in the Women’s Soccer World Cup assumes a defensive position and tries to become the victim.
No. Rubiales is not the victim of “a hunt”, as he said in this intervention. The victim is Jenni Hermoso.
“Such is the power of (Rubiales) that he can stand on a podium full of people to deny us what we saw with our own eyes and they will also applaud him,” says Catalina Ruiz-Navarro, director of the feminist publication Volcánicas.
“Frequently, when women report some type of sexual violence, such as harassment, sexual abuse, many times they do not have hard evidence because these things happen behind closed doors and that is usually the way in which the aggressors defend themselves by saying: Nobody He saw it, you have no proof, it’s your word against mine. But let’s look at how those same resources are being used, despite the fact that this was recorded by all the cameras in the world and seen by thousands and millions of people, even when what we are seeing clearly shows us that there is a forced weight and that there is no consent,” he adds.
Jenni Hermoso denied that the kiss with Rubiales was consented
Rubiales repeats five times that he is not going to resign. Despite the fact that FIFA opened an investigation against him. Despite the fact that politicians, soccer players, the President of the Spanish Government and international organizations have pointed out his unacceptable conduct and have called for his resignation. Despite the fact that Hermoso herself requests in a statement that the action does not go unpunished.
Rubiales says it loud and strong, but just one sentence from Hermoso, pronounced in the locker room after the team’s victory, is enough to understand why the speech of the RFEF president until now is so dangerous and why the kiss was not ” mutual” or “consensual”, as Rubiales affirms.
“Hey! But I didn’t like it!” the player said in an Instagram Live broadcast after lifting the trophy in Sydney.
No means no. The lack of a yes, is no. Before, during and after the event.
This Friday, Hermoso added a statement: “I want to clarify that at no time did I consent to the kiss he gave me and in no case did I seek to raise the president. I do not tolerate that my word is questioned, much less that words are invented that I have not said,” Hermoso said in a statement, in which the players of the Spanish team warned that they would resign if the leadership did not change.
Rubiales’ speech tries to rewrite the facts, pretending to invalidate the experience of Hermoso and dismiss the voices that have been raised to support it. This Friday’s statements are an episode, the most outrageous for many, of a series of mistakes that from the moment of the kiss show the lack of measures and forcefulness of those who have the power to make decisions.
let’s go over the facts
On Sunday, August 20, the Spanish women’s soccer team lifts the World Cup in a historic feat in Australia. During the celebration and awards to the players, Rubiales kisses Hermoso on the lips, holding his head in his hands. Then in the locker room, Hermoso pronounces the phrase that we cannot lose sight of and, later, the same transmission shows Rubiales hugging the player, after promising a trip to Ibiza, and saying that the wedding “of Jenni and Luis Rubiales. One day after the victory, in a video, Rubiales issues a statement that you saw as an apology.
“Surely I made a mistake, I have to admit it. Well, in a moment of euphoria without any intention of bad faith, well what happened happened. I think in a very spontaneous way. I repeat, there was no bad faith between either of us. From there, well, we didn’t understand it here because we saw something natural, normal and in no way, I repeat, in bad faith,” he said.
He added that “outside the bubble it seems to have turned into a storm and so if there are people who have been offended, I have to say I’m sorry. There’s no other way, right?”
This pronouncement, which does not recognize the transgression of his act and which points to the “offended” as if the error lay in being outraged by his conduct, is not an apology.
“Something that also happens with reports of sexual violence is that you want to determine the seriousness by supposedly how far the aggressor goes,” explains Ruiz-Navarro. “When once you break the consent of the person, you impose your will on the body and the wishes of another person, that is the maximum violence and you can do it with words, you can do it with actions, you can do it with violations, You can do it in many ways.”