USA striker Alex Morgan was one of three football players kicked out of Walt Disney World in Florida after an argument at a restaurant, police say.
Morgan was part of a group including Orlando City SC players Giles Barnes and Donny Toia who were issued citations by the Orange County sheriff’s department, as was Toia’s wife, Courtney. Barnes is a former England Under-19 midfielder and played in the Premier League for Derby County and West Bromwich Albion.
The group had been partying at a bar in the United Kingdom section of Disney’s Epcot theme park on Sunday when Barnes cut in front of another guest and a verbal altercation ensued, prompting officers to arrive at around 8.30pm, police said.
As the officers escorted Barnes to the front of the park so a trespass warning could be issued, they were summoned back to the bar to assist with Morgan, who was “screaming” and “appeared to be highly impaired” according to a copy of the incident report obtained by the Guardian.
Police then brought Morgan, along with Donny and Courtney Toia, to a conference room where they were briefly detained and issued citations before they were escorted off the property.
Earlier, Morgan had posted a picture to Instagram of her party. The caption appears to suggest that Morgan and her friends was involved in a popular drinking game at Epcot, in which participants have a drink in each of the attraction’s themed zones.
Morgan is one of America’s most famous footballers – she has 3.4 million followers on Twitter – and appeared on the cover of Fifa 2016 with Lionel Messi in US versions of the game, and her popularity has helped her land lucrative endorsement deals. She won a gold medal with her USA team-mates at the 2012 Olympics in London, as well as the 2015 Women’s World Cup. She is married to another Orlando player, Servando Carrasco, who was not cited in Sunday’s incident.
She has also played a prominent part in seeking better pay for female players. “To force a change sometimes you need to stand up. You know what you’re worth – rather than what your employer is paying you. We’re not scared. To move the women’s game ahead we need to do what’s necessary. I feel other national teams are looking at us for that guidance,” she told the Guardian this year.
Morgan is far from the first US footballer to find herself in trouble. Goalkeeper Hope Solo was suspended for six months for “a sum total of actions”, which culminated in her calling the Swedish football team “cowards”. Meanwhile, the US’s all-time leading scorer, Abby Wambach, was arrested for driving under the influence and later spoke about her struggles with alcohol and prescription drugs.
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