Spain’s soccer president condemned for kissing player on the lips during awards ceremony

Luis Rubiales, the head of Spain’s soccer federation, is under fire for kissing midfielder Jennifer Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s World Cup win Sunday. The incident sparked outrage at home and abroad, with many branding Rubiales sexually inappropriate and calling for him to resign.

According to WaPo: “Rubiales, who was standing onstage alongside Spain’s Queen Letizia at the time of the kiss, was quick to defend his actions, telling Spanish radio that “there are idiots everywhere. When two people have a minor show of affection, we can’t heed idiocy.” Video footage also showed him hugging and kissing other players, though Montero appears to be the only player who was kissed on the mouth.

On social media, women’s rights groups, politicians and watchers around the world condemned the incident, arguing that it was intrusive and served to highlight the unwanted sexual advances that women all over the world — and in the world of sports — are often faced with. Others said the inappropriate behavior threatened to overshadow the achievement of Spain’s women.

According to Irene Montero, also quoted in the Post, Spains’s Minister of Equality:

“Let’s not assume that giving a kiss without consent is something “that happens.” It is a form of sexual violence that women suffer on a daily basis,” Irene Montero said.