Chelsea striker, Sam Kerr and her Australia team-mates have broken their silence by releasing a strong statement after shocking allegations of sexual harrassment and bullying within Australia’s international women’s football team.
Lisa De Vanna, one of the country’s most decorated footballers who has 150 caps for her nation, revealed bombshell details inside the ‘toxic culture’ of the Australia women’s national soccer team last week, claiming she’d been sexually harrassed and humiliated by other players.
‘Have I been sexually harassed? Yes. Have I been bullied? Yes. Ostracised? Yes. Have I seen things that have made me uncomfortable? Yes,’ De Vanna told News Corp.
The current playing group responded on Monday afternoon, with each senior member issuing a comment on De Vanna’s revelations. They acknowledge there was improvement needed within the team’s culture.
‘I have been a part of this team for 12 amazing years, from 15 years old to now. Throughout my career the Matildas have been a safe haven for me and allowed me to grow into the player and person I am today. I count myself lucky to be a part of this amazing group of athletes and people.’ – Sam Kerr, Matildas captain
‘The Matildas have always been a second family to me. I have spent more time with these players and these staff members than I have with my own family at times, and I have always felt at home and safe. I am proud to be part of this family and will always support and care for the people within it.’ – Steph Catley, Matildas vice-captain
‘From the moment I stepped into the Matildas environment as a 16-year-old, this has been my safe place and the professional environment has helped me to grow into the player and person I am today. I stand with my teammates / second family in full support of this collective statement.’ – Caitlin Foord
‘I am in full support the collective team statement. For 11 years I have been incredibly lucky to be part of such an amazing team, be surround by incredible athletes and even better people. The Matildas have always been more than just a team, they have been my safe space and my second family. In those 11 years, this group has helped me grow and find myself as a footballer and as a person. I am grateful to them for being a p
art of my journey and shaping who I am today.’ – Emily van Egmond
‘I am in full support of this collective statement together with my teammates. The Matildas have been my second family and safe place for over a decade, and we, as a full inclusive team, will always stand for and with each other.’ – Mackenzie Arnold
‘I support the collective team statement. The current Matildas environment is one that allows individual players to strive for their personal best within the team setting.’ – Ellie Carpenter
‘I play my best football when I’m in an environment that’s professional, fun and supportive. This team gives me all of that.’ – Mary Fowler
‘Being a part of the Matildas family is something I take immense pride in. I fully support our collective statement and stand by the strong, inclusive, safe and professional environment that I have experienced for the best part of a decade.’ – Alanna Kennedy
‘The Matildas are a large part of my identity. I have dedicated a lot of my time to help grow the culture and professionalism of this team and it’s been a fantastic journey that we are all proud of.’ – Elise Kellond-Knight
‘Since joining this team at the beginning of 2019, I have felt welcomed, valued and only experienced the utmost professional environment both on and off the field.’ – Teagan Micah
‘Being part of the Matildas has been the greatest honour and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this team.’ – Clare Polkinghorne
‘Throughout my involvement with the Matildas, I have found great comfort in the professional and safe working environment within this group. The Matildas are like my family, they have played a big part in shaping who I am, and I am so proud to be a part of this special team’ – Hayley Raso
‘For me, coming in at a young age during a major tournament, I have experienced nothing but acceptance and welcome and can honestly say the environment is one of the best I have been a part of.’ – Kary Roestbakken
‘As a current and long-standing Matilda, I am in full support of the collective statement from the team and the professionalism which we have built over the years. I am proud of every moment that I get to stand with and for my teammates in the green and gold.’ – Lydia Williams
‘As an individual and as a current Matilda I am in full support of the collective statement made by the teammates I stand side-by-side with wearing the green and gold jersey.’ – Tameka Yallop