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This female World Cup reporter was groped, harassed and kissed during live broadcast

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Colombian journalist Julieth Gonzalez Theran was reporting on the World Cup in Russia when a man ran into the frame and assaulted her

Anna Freeman

21 Junio 2018 12:30

As a crowd of football soccer fans gathered in Saransk, Russia, at this year’s World Cup, a female reporter was sexual assaulted while live on television.

A man - whose identity is not known - kissed and groped Julieth Gonzalez Theran, a journalist from Colombia who has been covering the tournament, during her World Cup broadcast while she tried to ignore what was going on.

Gonzalez Theran had just started her broadcast when the fan jumped into the frame, smiling idiotically, before he moved he grab her breast, kissed her cheek, and ran away.

Gonzalez Theran kept reporting and refused to acknowledge the incident while on-screen. She says that she tried to look for the man but he had disappeared.

‘RESPECT!’ she wrote on Instagram later, sharing a video of the incident. ‘We do not deserve this treatment. We are equally valuable and professionals. I share the joy of football, but we must identify the limits of affection and harassment.’

Gonzalez Theran was reporting for Deutsche Welle (DW)'s Spanish-speaking news channel, and spoke to the outlet about the incident. ‘I had been at the scene for two hours to prepare for the broadcast and there had been no interruptions,’ she said. ‘When we went live, this fan took advantage of the situation.’

She also said that the incident is part of a larger culture of disrespecting female sports journalists. ‘Lots of people think that the reporter is only there to bring some color to the picture,’ she told DW. ‘But we want to talk about systems and strategy.’

Sadly, Gonzalez Theran's experience is only one of many instances of sexual assault and harassment female sports reporters experience when they work.

A recent example includes when Mexican journalist Maria Fernanda Mora was groped repeatedly while on air with Fox Sports in April. Although she attempted to continue with her broadcast, the man only stopped when she turned around and hit him with her microphone.


‘I don't regret my reaction at all,’ she wrote on Twitter, ‘This guy, emboldened because I did not react and kept doing my job, put his hand between my buttocks twice more. [...] I defended myself because women are NOT GOING TO LEAVE AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO STOP.’

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