Women's Sport: Crystal Palace goalkeeper Lucy Gillett alleges sexist abuse at Coventry


Lucy Gillett, Crystal Palace’s goalkeeper says she was subjected to sexist abuse during her side’s Championship 3-2 loss against Coventry.

Following the game, Gillett revealed she heard men in the crowd asking the referee to “check the gender” of some of the Palace players.

The Football Association says it has been made aware of the incident and is investigating.

Gillett compared her experience to racist comments seen recently in the Premier League and regrets not walking off the pitch after hearing the sexist comments.

"There were quite a few verbally abusive comments, some directed at me and some directed at the whole team. In my 18 years of playing, I've never had verbal abuse directly aimed at myself right behind my goal. It was an unpleasant experience.

"If it was a racist comment it wouldn't be tolerated. We have had players walk off pitches for racist comments. Maybe I should have walked off the pitch in that match," Gillett said.

Crystal Palaces’ goalkeeper says she told the referee at half-time who then spoke to the general manager of Coventry FC.

Coventry United responded to the claims saying they were helping the FA with their investigations.

“Coventry United FC is aware of the allegations made; ref. our home game on January 12th. We are investigating the matter carefully, with the close support of the Football Association. Until the investigations are complete, CUFC staff or players will be making no further comment,” the club said in a statement released on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the FA said: "We continue to work with partners across the game, such as Stonewall and LGBT fan groups, to encourage fans and players to report abuse, both at a national and county FA level, and work with the leagues, campaign groups and the statutory agencies to sanction and educate perpetrators."

The FA’s women’s competitions pride themselves on the family-friendly atmospheres their fans enjoy. Gillett has received support on social media for speaking out about the sexist abuse and fans have expressed their disappointment at the abuse entering into the women’s game.

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