Crystal Palace goalkeeper Lucy Gillett reveals man in crowd shouted 'check the gender, ref' at her and team-mates

Gillett was subject to sexist abuse (Twitter: Lucy Gillett)
14:56pm, Thu 16 Jan 2020
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Crystal Palace goalkeeper Chloe Gillett has revealed she and her team-mates were subjected to sexist abuse in a Championship match against Coventry United.

Gillett says men in the crowd shouted at the referee to 'check the gender' of the Palace players.

The keeper said she had never experienced anything like it in her career.

"It is something I don't think should be at a women's game - or any game. It is not acceptable

"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."

The Football Association have been notified and are looking into the incident.

Gillett reported the comments to the referee at half-time who then spoke to United's manager.

Gillett said: "The behaviour was better in the second half, but still not completely controlled and quite intimidating for the team.

"I can't say what should have happened or shouldn't have happened, but for me to be verbally abused for 45 minutes - to anyone that is unacceptable.

 "If we are going to see more of these incidents in the women's game, then there needs to be protocols of what teams and security should be doing if they come across this kind of situation."

The FA released a statement regarding the incident which read: "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."

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