Red Stars speak out, Dash apologizes after alleged discrimination over COVID-19 protocols

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Ryan Young
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Sarah Gorden of the Chicago Red Stars
Sarah Gorden of the Chicago Red Stars said she was singled out due to her race after their game at Houston on Friday. (Daniel Bartel/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Chicago Red Stars players spoke out on Monday night, days after defender Sarah Gorden said she was racially profiled and discriminated against by a Houston security guard.

The team, in a joint statement shared on Twitter, slammed the Dash and a BBVA Stadium security guard and committed to keep speaking out about the discrimination Gorden says she faced.

“While we acknowledge that all players need to adhere to proper post-game protocols, Sarah was treated inconsistently and inappropriately,” the team said, in part. “It is unacceptable that a player is left in tears due to the actions of a stadium employee. We will not tolerate racism or discrimination.”

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Sarah Gorden said she was singled out by security

Gorden shared on Twitter on Friday that a Dash security guard singled her out at BBVA stadium after their 0-0 draw against the Dash while enforcing COVID-19 protocols.

Gorden said that her boyfriend had come down the stairs in the stadium to talk to her after the game, though a security guard then threatened to arrest him if he got too close to her. Gorden, who is Black, said that Dash players around the stadium were able to talk with their families closely.

“Meanwhile white players were talking to white fam all over the stadium,” she wrote on Twitter, in part. “At first I didn’t realize this was a racial issue until I saw white Houston Dash players surrounding the stadium talking closely to their family and we were the only ones targeted.”

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Dash apologize, launch investigation

The Dash addressed Gorden’s claims Saturday in a statement, and admitted that its players violated coronavirus protocols after the game. The team didn’t mention Gorden by name, however, and insisted that security was “entirely focused on COVID safety.”

Houston released a new statement on Monday, apologizing for the first one being “off the mark.” It also said that the organization is now “fully and openly cooperating” with a formal investigation into the incident.

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