Houston – The Houston Dash released a statement Monday after a Red Stars player claimed she and her boyfriend, who are Black, were racially profiled during the opening match of the Challenge Cup tournament on Saturday.
In a Twitter thread posted on Saturday morning, Red Stars player Sarah Gordon said she and her boyfriend were harassed by a security guard at BBVA Stadium when her boyfriend tried to come down to the field and speak to her.
Gorden said security threatened to “arrest” her boyfriend if he walked any closer to the field.
My bf came to our game against @HoustonDash + after the game he came down steps to talk to me. We were immediately (before he was close 2 me)followed by security and told he would be arrested if he came close. Meanwhile white players were talking to white fam all over the stadium— Sarah Gorden (@sarahlgorden) April 10, 2021
At first I didn’t realize this was a racial issue until I saw white @HoustonDash players surrounding the stadium talking closely to their family and we were the only ones targeted— Sarah Gorden (@sarahlgorden) April 10, 2021
I asked the security guard why he was only talking to us. He said he would go to them later. He never approached any of them. These players have multiple photos with their people.— Sarah Gorden (@sarahlgorden) April 10, 2021
Gorden said she didn’t think it was a racial issue until she noticed that the security guard had only approached her boyfriend and not any of the “white” Houston Dash players who were also visiting with their family.
The Houston Dash issued a statement on Saturday saying their staff “was entirely focused on COVID safety.” The statement also apologized to Gorden for “anything that may have created an impression to the contrary.”
After receiving backlash from fans about the initial statement on Saturday, the organization released a statement on Monday saying it recognizes now “that the initial statement was off the mark and we apologize to Sarah, the NWSL and our fans for that.”
The organization also said there is a formal investigation underway following the incident.