Days after her controversial “Summer Talk in the SDHL” podcast, goaltender Sofia Reideborn announced she is leaving her team, SDE, via a post on Instagram and Twitter. Her Instagram account is private, but hockeysverige.se posted the text, translated through Google Translate.
“I have made the decision to take a step back from SDE and SDHL. I consider it best for me and for SDE as a team to be able to perform to its full potential. I am eternally grateful for everything SDE has done for me and the confidence they have shown Late day one, but today I think I need a break from the women’s hockey and the women’s hockey a break from me. We take a little break in this relationship. Simply put, my commitment to being the best goalkeeper I can be continues but wherever and how it looks I do not know yet. I wish SDE all the happiness next season. See you in the future, SDHL.”
Last Wednesday, the SDHL released Reideborn’s episode of “Summer Talk” podcast, a new weekly series where players talk about their history and thoughts.
In the translated transcript, she opens by referring to herself as a controversial player. She continues on to talk about her youth before moving on to the comments that caused a huge stir, and rightfully so.
Reideborn asserts that “Swedish women’s hockey is not good enough today. It is not good enough to compete with other big nations and we are not good enough to attract people to our matches.” She mentions the National Team players boycott, and the many issues with former head coach Leif Boork. Reideborn has not played on the Sweden national team since 2016-17 U18 season and has yet to appear on the senior team.
She continues on to talk about the type and style of play, as well as finding a new target audience because fans who watch men’s hockey games for the physicality won’t enjoy women’s hockey games due to the lack of hitting.
The goaltender moves on to talk about romantic relationships on the teams, going as far as to suggest that language in players’ contracts should forbid them, because it is not professional to do so. She cites examples of fighting couples making game day and practices complicated and drawing focus away from the on-ice game.
She finishes with more about her family.
SDE defender Jacquie Pierre responded with an open letter on Twitter, condemning the “misogyny and homophobia” in the Reideborn’s podcast.
My thoughts on the misogyny and homophobia expressed by @sofiareideborn and inexplicably amplified by our own league.— Jacquie Pierri (@ouiweejacquie) July 9, 2020
It isn’t “cutely controversial,” its wrong. I hope it’s a learning opportunity. We can and must do much better than this in the @SDHLse.https://t.co/dKFE29wpPE pic.twitter.com/QmTtRKAdob
The backlash prompted the league to respond as well.
“SDHL wants transparency,” says Gizela Ahlgren Bloom, sports director at SDHL, on the league’s press release about the comments. “We do not intend to filter anyone and it is important that everyone is allowed to express their views.”
They responded directly to Reideborn’s comments about a relationship clause as well. “We believe that it should be like any other workplace, it is not something we will or should impose any restrictions on. Whatever relationship, when you are at work, in this case the hockey, it should be managed professionally. It must not be that love relationships should influence how a sporting activity is run. But that’s a leadership issue in every single club, nothing that we control centrally,” says Ahlgren Bloom.
In an interview with Expressen about her departure from the team, she said, “I have talked to our management and have been given indications that they (teammates) are not so satisfied. Then I felt that then I did them (SDE) a favor. It will also benefit me as I can focus on myself.”
She also said she believes she won’t play this season, as no other team has reached out.
It won’t be a game for me this season. SDE has been fantastic these years. I don’t want to put them in a bad seat and play for any other SDHL team, not for any other SDHL team that would have liked me.
You don’t think so?
No I do not think so. It’s quiet on that front, she says.