Australia’s Sam Kerr pleads not guilty to racially aggravated harassment


Australia captain and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr has pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated harassment of a police officer in London, with a trial set for early next year.

The footballer – part of the Matildas squad at the 2023 Women’s World Cup – has been charged with using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to a police officer, during an incident in Twickenham in January 2023.

In a statement published on Monday (4 March), the Metropolitan Police said the charge relates to an “incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare”. 

Kerr has been charged under Section 4A [of the] Public Order Act 1986, the police added. 

The athlete denied the charge at hearing at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court on Monday (4 March). A four-day trial is expected to take place in February 2025 at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court. 

Mary Earps blocks a goal attempt by Australia's Sam Kerr (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images )
Australia’s Sam Kerr (L). (Justin Setterfield/Getty)

Speaking to media in Adelaide on Tuesday, Football Australia chief executive James Johnson said the federation had learned of the “very serious allegations” in the news.

“There is no place for racism in our sport,” he said. “At the same time Sam has rights, natural justice rights, procedural rights that she has to work through and we will respect that.”

He added that Football Australia is “trying to get to the bottom of it” and “we’ve got to find out what actually happened”. 

He went on to say: “I haven’t spoken to Sam other than a text message to check in on her wellbeing.”

Kerr, who is engaged to fellow pro footballer Kristie Mewis, has scored 99 goals in 128 matches since joining Chelsea in 2019.

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