NWSL investigating incident involving Houston security and Chicago Red Stars’ Sarah Gorden

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Chicago Red Stars defender Sarah Gorden (11) runs upfield during an NWSL Challenge Cup soccer match, Friday, April 9, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

HOUSTON — The National Women’s Soccer League is investigating an incident involving Houston security and Chicago Red Stars defender Sarah Gorden based on the leagues anti-discrimination policy.

Following a 0-0 draw on April 9, Gorden said her boyfriend went down the steps of BBVA Stadium to approach her to talk with her. She said they were immediately followed by security and told her boyfriend would be arrested if he came to close.

Gorden tweeted about the incident and said she did not realize it was a racial issue until she saw white Dash players getting close with their families and not receiving the same treatment as her and her boyfriend did.

The league’s policy outlines the procedure for investigations involving harassment and discrimination. Parties involved will have the opportunity to provide information relevant to incidents.

Houston Dash players released a statement in support of Gorden and her boyfriend.

“In light of recent events that took a place at BBVA stadium after our game against the Chicago Red Stars on April 9th, the players of the Houston Dash would like to formally apologize to Sarah Gorden for the treatment she and her loved ones endured. We understand that an apology is not enough, and recognize that action needs to be taken in order to right this wrong.

“We take full responsibility for not adhering to the post-game COVID protocols that are in place to protect ourselves and others.”

This is not the first time a stadium security guard has had an incident with a NWSL player. In July, 2019, North Carolina Courage forward Jessica McDonald tweeted that a security guard at Rio Tinto Stadium threatened to call the police on her then 7-year-old son for running down to see her.

“My child was SCARED to see me. You guys need a policy for your staff on how they treat children.”

The NWSL said they would not comment further until the investigation is completed. They have also asked the clubs involved to refrain from additional comments.

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