Emma Hayes, the Chelsea manager, has expressed her frustrations at another “crap week for women” following the conviction of Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard and allegations by NWSL players of sexual coercion against the North Carolina Courage manager, Paul Riley, which led to his removal and a suspension of the weekend’s games in the United States.
Speaking after she had watched her team defeat Brighton 3-1 in the Women’s Super League, Hayes said: “I work for a club that supports a number of causes including [women’s] refuges. There’s no point in me saying it’s been a crap week for women. It feels like it’s always a crap week for women.”
Hayes added that she hoped to raise son, Harry, to be respectful of women. “All of us hope for a place where we feel safe. To go to work, walk the streets, live our lives without threat and fear, and that’s not about what’s gone on in America, that’s in general,” she said. “I want a better place for women as we all do but it starts at home. My job is about educating my son to make sure he understands the importance of women and how to not take advantage of us.
“I want my son to grow up knowing that he is to respect women and to understand that when a woman says no she means no. He will grow up, I hope, to be a young man who doesn’t exploit the sexual differences between us.”
The Brighton manager, Hope Powell, said that while she did not know the players involved in the allegations in the US she is “so pleased they spoke up”.
“It’s sad that these things happen, not just our sport but in any sport, and now it’s about making sure players are protected and making sure cases like this never happen again,” she said. “It’s really important that people who feel they aren’t treated right find their voice and there is a safe space for them to say what they feel is wrong and I’m just thankful that people have listened.”
Powell, like Hayes, added of the circumstances of Everard’s murder: “A person that you think is there to protect you becomes the perpetrator, it’s really sad. Coming home late at night I’ve felt all the things other women have felt walking home alone.”