Sam Kerr to refute one word of alleged slur as debate erupts around 'racism' claim

A number of politicians have weighed in on debate around whether or not Kerr's comment is actually racist.

Sam Kerr is reportedly set to argue that she never called a police officer a 'bastard' after it was alleged on Wednesday that she said 'stupid white bastard'. The Matildas captain is charged with using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress during an incident in Twickenham on January 30 of 2023 in which she threw up in a taxi after a night out.

Kerr has pleaded not guilty to the charge and will be back in court for a pre-trial hearing next month. On Wednesday, it was alleged that Kerr called an officer a 'stupid white bastard' after police were called over a dispute in regard to a taxi fare after Kerr had been sick in the cab, according to reports.

NSW premier Chris Minns alongside Sam Kerr.
NSW premier Chris Minns gave a telling response to a question about Sam Kerr's alleged slur. Image: Getty

The prosecution will reportedly allege that Kerr verbally abused the police when two officers arrived to deal with the situation. But according to The Australian, Kerr and her legal team will refute that she said the word 'bastard' and instead said 'stupid white cop'.

Kerr had reportedly been out celebrating a win for club team Chelsea against Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup, in which she scored a hat-trick of goals. She appeared in court on Monday via video link and pleaded not guilty to the charge of racially aggravated harassment.


Her lawyers will reportedly seek to have the charge downgraded of dropped completely due to 'abuse of process' after it took police 12 months to lay the charge. Kerr was notified of the charge on January 21 this year and will head to trial in February 2025 if the case proceeds that far.

She is due back in court in April for a pre-trial hearing. In the UK, harassment convictions can include a sentence of up to two years in custody when the offence is racially or religiously aggravated.

Debate erupts over whether Sam Kerr's slur is racist

A number of Australian politicians have since weighed in on Kerr's alleged slur and whether or not it should be regarded as racist. When NSW premier Chris Minns was asked that question on Thursday he simply replied: "No."

Western Australia premier Roger Cook said: "I don't think it is racist. Sam is a great West Australian. She's done so much for Western Australian sport and so much for women and girls' sports."

Sam Kerr, pictured here with Chelsea manager Emma Hayes.
Sam Kerr's manager at Chelsea Emma Hayes has spoken out. Image: Getty

NSW health minister Ryan Park said he had “been called a lot worse”, which Socceroos legend Robbie Slater agreed with. “Without trivialising what she might have said, it sounds like something silly might have happened, it’s a bizarre thing,” Slater told Sky News Australia. “I’ve been called a lot worse I can tell you.

“I think Sam might have had a few too many on one evening and probably said something stupid, but a four-day trial – I mean you’d walk into Downing Street Court and I think you’d be out within the hour for something like this. You can’t trivialise racism, but like I said, I’ve been called a lot worse.”

But One Nation MP Tania Mihailuk disagreed, saying Minns “would be leading the mob” if the shoe was on the other foot. “The premier has just endorsed racism. He also exposed himself as a total hypocrite, pandering to populism at the expense of sound judgement,” Mihailuk wrote online.

“How can a premier endorse the use of such inappropriate language – what message does this send to our kids from the leader of our state? If the comments were reversed there would be a riot, and the Premier would be leading the mob.”

Robbie Slater.
Robbie Slater speaks to the media in 2020. (Jono Searle via Getty Images)

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes breaks silence on Sam Kerr charge

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has broken her silence on the situation, saying Kerr has the "full support" of the club. Kerr failed to inform Football Australia of the charge or court appearance, which has led to calls for her to be stripped of the Matildas captaincy.

Chelsea were also reportedly kept in the dark about the situation, but Hayes said on Wednesday: "Sam has our full support. She knows that. Yes, it's a difficult time for her. Of course, I can't comment (about the case). What I can say is that I know she's pleaded not guilty, and I don't want to do anything to jeopardise anything for Sam by speaking about it.

"And for that reason, I'm sure you can appreciate that's all I'm going to say on the matter. But she has our full support and she knows that, and it's really important I get that across. That's something I really, really value. There's difficult moments, tough times and that's what my role is in this football club, it's to make sure I look after our people, and I just want to be clear that Sam will be fully supported by me and everybody else at Chelsea."

Sam Kerr and Emma Hayes.
Sam Kerr and Emma Hayes at Chelsea in 2021. (Getty Images)

The charge laid against Kerr has reportedly triggered Football Australia's no-fault stand-down policy, but because she's injured and won't play for the majority of the year, the governing body haven't had to act just yet. Kerr ruptured her ACL in January during a training camp with Chelsea, and will spend the majority of 2024 on the sidelines.

She is highly unlikely to play at the Paris Olympics in July and August, and probably won't travel with the team either. That means Football Australia haven't had to make a decision on standing her down or stripping her of the captaincy just yet.

with AAP

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