Don’t step onto Sam Kerr’s pitch without permission.
In a now-viral moment, the out Chelsea star leveled a man who ran onto the pitch and was trying to take a picture with Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson during the Blues’ Championship League draw with Juventus in London on Wednesday.
The man failed in his mission, and wound up jarring at players on his way off the field — all while appearing to film the exchange on his cell phone. That’s when Kerr body checked him.
Sam Kerr did not take kindly to a pitch invader at Chelsea's Champions League game against Juventus - flattening him with a firm shoulder.— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) December 9, 2021
Kerr was handed a yellow card for rough conduct after the incident, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw. #9News pic.twitter.com/XYSFNBsHsz
Ridiculously, Kerr received a yellow card for her strike. “He could have waited until the end for a photograph if he really wanted one,” said Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, per ESPN. “But jokes aside, we do have to think about player safety.”
With the draw, Chelsea missed an opportunity to clinch its place in Champions League knockout stages.
In all seriousness, Kerr should be commended for trying to protect other players on the field, not punished. It’s apparent the invader was trying to disrupt the action for his own amusement, or perhaps for social media props. Who knows what stunt he was going to try next.
There’s also the greater issue of player security. While fan accessibly is one of the drawing points for women’s soccer, seemingly lax protocols jeopardize the safety of players and coaches.
“Sam Kerr leveling that idiot pitch invader is funny and all but I’m glad nobody got hurt and I mostly come away again worried about security at women’s soccer games,” tweeted Equalizer Soccer founder Jeff Kassouf. “We’ve seen issues in the NWSL and w/USWNT in past years. We’re lucky these people haven’t had worse intentions.”
Kerr, who played for Australia in the Tokyo Olympics, made headlines earlier this week for a cheerier reason: winning Player of the Match in Chelsea’s FA Cup title win with her girlfriend in attendance.
Kerr and USWNT player Kristie Mewis have been public about their relationship since the Olympics. They are a true LGBTQ sports power couple.
You don’t want to get in their way, as Kerr so kindly illustrated.