Fiancé of new Red Stars forward Kealia Ohai calls out Houston station for ‘trash’ tweet
ABC13 Houston headline about NWSL forward Kealia Ohai sparks outrage from J.J. Watt.
Forget all of Kealia Ohai’s accomplishments as a professional soccer player, she is J.J. Watt’s fiancee. At least, that’s the message a local Houston television station sent with a tweet they shared after Ohai’s trade to the Chicago Red Stars this week.
Channel 13, the ABC affiliate in Houston, tweeted Monday, “Houston Dash trade J.J. Watt’s fiancee to Chicago,” after the Red Stars acquired Ohai in a trade that sent Katie Naughton and the 18th overall pick to the Dash.
The tweet was immediately met with outrage from fans, including Ohai’s fiancé.
Watt retweeted the post and wrote: “This headline is trash. Kealia Ohai (which is her name by the way, since you didn’t even bother to mention it) is incredible entirely on her own merit and deserves to be treated as such.”
“Be better than this,” Watt added.
The Houston station linked to another story with a similarly misogynistic headline that reads, “Kealia Ohai: 10 things to know about J.J. Watt’s future wife”.
An apology was issued to Watt by Channel 13 that said, “Hi JJ, Our sincere apologies. We 100% agree with you. Kealia Ohai is a soccer superstar who deserves her own headlines. We are sad to see her go. She is going to be a force in Chicago! We’ve loved doing stories on her many talents and accomplishments over the years.”
There has been no apology issued to Ohai.
A similar incident took place over the summer after Zach Ertz left Eagles minicamp to watch 2019 U.S. Soccer female player of the year Julie Ertz compete in her second FIFA Women’s World Cup.
CBS News referred to Julie as Ertz’s wife instead of using her name or any of her numerous professional titles.
Ohai, like Ertz and so many other female athletes who have had their accomplishments cut down to the title of wife or fiancée, has established a decorated career as a professional athlete playing at the highest level in her sport. None of those accomplishments is because she is Watt’s fiancée.
In 2016, the Chicago Tribune shared a headline on Twitter that referred to Olympian Corey Cogdell-Unrein as “Wife of Bears’ lineman.”
Four years later, seven days into 2020, the headlines read the same.