U.S. women's national team star Alex Morgan told TIME's Sean Gregory that FIFA president Sepp Blatter didn't know who she was at a FIFA World Player of the Year event.
Morgan was one of three nominees for the award.
“I have experienced sexism multiple times, and I’m sure I will a lot more,” she told TIME. “I feel like I’m fighting for female athletes. At the FIFA World Player of the Year event [in 2013], FIFA executives and FIFA president Sepp Blatter didn’t know who I was. And I was being honored as top three in the world. That was pretty shocking.”
Morgan's anecdote echoes fellow U.S. women's national team star Abby Wambach's experience with Blatter. She told Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl last year that at a World Player of the Year gala in 2013, Blatter mistook her girlfriend for Brazilian player Marta. Marta has won the award five times.
Blatter, who is currently running for a fifth term as FIFA president, called himself a "godfather" of women's soccer earlier this month, despite the fact that a number of women's soccer players sued FIFA ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup in an attempt to have the tournament played on natural grass instead of turf.
The players dropped their lawsuit earlier this year.
The U.S. women's national team plays the Korea Republic in a friendly on May 30 in its final match before the World Cup.
- Stanley Kay