Former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro has spoken out for the first time about threats she received after a public falling out with Jose Mourinho led to her resignation.
She told the Telegraph about death threats as well as threats of sexual violence. She said: “Even though I don’t have a presence on social media – I think I have made one post ever in my life – some of the threats of sexual violence and death threats make it through. They [the abusers] just seem to be faceless cowards and they should be answerable to legislation.”
Carneiro settled a court case with the club in the summer for constructive dismissal. She believes the way fans have reacted to the incident shows a wider problem of sexism in football: “It is one thing to say, ‘We will end discrimination’ and I think it is widely accepted that discrimination exists in the sport. I think sexism is the least challenged form of discrimination. Anti-Semitic and other racist comments are widely condemned and I don’t think that is the case [with sexism] and it begs the question what that leaves room for behind the scenes. It is widely accepted that football has a discrimination problem.
“I really do feel that way, but I think it is the least challenged form of discrimination. Growing up I didn’t think it [gender inequality] was going to be a problem. It never even occurred to me there would be differences in what we could achieve, or what we were told we could achieve, by being girls or boys.
“At university more than 50% of the intake in medical school is female, so a female doctor wanting to do anything from trauma surgery to working in the military is not surprising. As I sought specialist training in certain sports, male colleagues found that quite surprising. There was very much a dialogue of bringing attention to my gender or objectifying me in some way. They described that as a limit to my career progression in that direction, which I was stunned by. It was a dialogue more appropriate for the 1950s.”
Carneiro currently works at her own clinic on Harley Street in London. A percentage of Chelsea supporters were in her corner at the time of the incident and that number has grown since Mourinho was sacked by the Blues last December.