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Chelsea manager Emma Hayes ‘proud’ of Fran Kirby for speaking out on body shaming

Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes has praised the Blues star Fran Kirby for speaking about body shaming in women’s football.

In a documentary about her rehabilitation from knee surgery, Fran Kirby spoke about the issue of body shaming in women’s football.

In Chelsea’s A Comeback: Nothing Stops Us Documentary, Kirby revealed that she wears a jacket over her training “Because I get called fat all the time, so I have to cover it up.” Kirby also claims that it “has become more noticeable that people are getting comments about their weight”.

Ahead of the game against Aston Villa, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes admitted that women’s sport has a problem with body shaming.

“It was an important message Fran put across,” said Hayes. “I know I said during the World Cup why I do not believe in the women’s game we should have weigh-ins or body composition tests.

“The media needs to be mindful of the insecurities that might be there. Body shaming is a real thing and the players feel it.

Hayes also said she is “proud” of Fran Kirby for speaking out on body shaming issues in women’s football.

“I was proud of Fran for saying that because as women we’re judged enough to look a certain way. But in order to perform at the level that you need to. you need to eat carbs as well as a healthy diet and, unfortunately, there is a problem in the game.

“I’m not going to just limit it to the women’s game. there is a problem in sport with underfueling and underloading. That comes with the constant demands to look a certain way. Unfortunately, a vitriolic environment that comes from social media.

“Fran has certainly fell victim to that as other players have as well. I always urge everybody to be mindful of that because we’re destroying people in many ways. I’m really glad that Fran said out loud what so many female players do not say enough.

“My thing is I always just want to try and educate. so I’ll always say to someone, ‘Please can you not take a photo like that’ or ‘Please can you consider that the athlete won’t like that’ or ‘please can you just make sure you take a headshot? I don’t want you to do a zoom-out with that’.

Hayes added: “I think educating people around it is important because maybe photographers are not always conscious of it, or they might take a shot of something thinking well, ‘No one’s ever said that to me because I’ve only captured male footballers before’ but I do think that they have to think about it and I’m only talking about things that all female players do discuss in the background. I feel the same way they do.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.


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