London Sports Teams Denounce Trump’s ‘Locker Room Talk’

A viewing party for the first US presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is held at the Water's Edge Event Centre in Windsor on September 26, 2016. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Three London sports teams are speaking out after a videotape was released that showed American presidential candidate Donald Trump making comments about sexually assaulting women.

The London Lightning, Western University Mustangs and FC London Soccer Club issued statements on Wednesday denouncing Trump’s comments, as well as the attempt by his campaign to dismiss what he said was “locker room talk.”

London Abused Women’s Centre Executive Director Megan Walker says the centre works closely with male athletes, team owners and coaches.

“All men should be outraged by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statement that sexually assaulting women is ‘locker room talk,'” says Walker in a media release. “It isn’t.”

The London Lightning’s statement reads:

“The National Basketball League of Canada supports its players in understanding the impact of men’s violence against women. The NBL works collaboratively with the London Abused Women’s Centre and dedicates a team game each season to women impacted by violence through the Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign. The NBL has zero tolerance for men’s violence against women. Sexual violence and rape culture have no place in the locker rooms of the NBL or of any sport.”

In a release, the Mustangs said:

“Locker room talk should never be demeaning, disrespectful or make light of a very serious problem. It is precisely this attitude that has contributed to the culture of sexual violence against women that exists in our society today. Athletes and coaches should be role models and be leaders in the fight to end sexual violence against women. If we are to change the attitudes and culture, then it begins in the locker room.”

FC London Soccer Club wrote:

“As an organization that focuses on opportunities in sport for both male and female soccer players our mandate is to create a safe and barrier free environment for players, coaches, families and fans. With this in mind our FC LONDON executive and staff in no way condone, support or tolerate any abusive language or comments either inside or outside the locker room. Recent implications in the American media indicating that the locker room of a sports organization is a place where violence against women and the promotion of a rape culture is tolerated are simply wrong. All players and team officials within the FC LONDON organization are aware of and have signed a league “code of conduct” including a social media policy which makes it clear that there is NO tolerance for behaviour that is racist, sexist, or which degrades other human beings.”

The video of Trump, which was obtained by The Washington Post, was caught on a hot microphone during a 2005 conversation.

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump says. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

“Grab them by the p—y,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”