Say No to Sexual Harassment
In this photo, a woman visits an anti-sexual harassment fair in Cairo, 18 May 2007. Getty Images/Cris Bouroncle

Members of the California Golden Bears football team and coaching staff have been accused of sexual harassment and negligence by one female staff member. In a lengthy Facebook post, the woman said she was harassed when she was working last season for the football team’s sports medicine unit.

The woman said she was told, "I will get you fired if you do not have sex with me," on the field, in the red zone, during a practice.

"I think there is a significant portion of the population that looks at football players as misogynists, and walking examples of the toxic masculinity epidemic in our society. But what comes as a surprise is that I am not here to talk about players, I want to talk about the coaches. Highly paid, famous, revered when their team wins a national championship. I am an athlete, and I have been my whole life, so when I got the opportunity to work for the UC Berkeley team, I was excited beyond belief. Night games under the lights, adrenaline rushes and team spirit," the woman said in the post.

The woman said she was forced to seek "intensive therapy and psychiatry for the post traumatic stress syndrome and anxiety that happened from the time I spent working for the Cal Football team."

The woman, whose name was not revealed as she could be a sexual assault victim, said coaches and players stared at her during practice, sent “creepy” messages on social media and invited her to parties or to meet them in campus offices after hours or in a local hotel.

She said one coach “would corner me in the tunnel entrance to field, asking me deeply personal questions, like if I had a boyfriend and what my ‘type’ is. He would not leave me alone at practice, following me around to each drill, making remarks on how I looked that day. To no surprise, he found me on Instagram, and starting (sic) messaging me, for which then I blocked him. One day after practice, I realized he was following me home, as he was supposed to be going in the opposite direction, but was keeping a close pace behind me before he caught up to me outside my front door. He asked me what I was doing that weekend, and that we should go to the pool, because ‘I would look amazing in a bikini.’ This coach is still employed by Cal Football, just to make that clear.”

The UC Berkeley’s athletic department brought the incident to the attention of the campus’ Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination -- the campus agency responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with federal laws preventing discrimination and harassment.

UC Berkeley
Pedestrians pass Sproul Hall, the University of California at Berkeley's administration building, in Berkeley, California. Reuters/Noah Berger

“We are aware of the very disturbing public allegations made on social media,” Cal Athletics released a statement responding to the allegations late Wednesday. “These allegations go against the very core of our values.

“Cal Athletics is and will always be committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected. All of those associated with the department are expected to maintain ethical standards at all times. We encourage anyone who is feeling distressed or troubled to contact the PATH to Care Center for confidential support, and other campus resources,” it added.