In an emotional interview, the parents of Stanford soccer captain Katie Meyer, who died by suicide this week, said that potential disciplinary action from the university might have “triggered something.”
On the “Today” show on Friday, Meyer’s mother, Gina, called the last couple of days “a parent’s worst nightmare.” “And you don’t wake up from it,” said Gina, who wore her daughter’s red sweatshirt.
Katie Meyer, a senior majoring in international relations, was found dead in an on-campus residence on Tuesday night, university officials said. Late Thursday, the Santa Clara County medical examiner-coroner’s office said the 22-year-old’s death was determined to be self-inflicted and there was no indication of foul play.
In the interview, Gina Meyer said they’d spoken to their daughter just hours before her death and that she was happy and “in great spirits.” But her parents said they believed she may have received an email regarding a disciplinary action.
Meyer’s father, Steve, said that before his daughter’s death, she “was defending a teammate on campus over an incident,” which resulted in the disciplinary action.
“We have not seen that email yet,” Gina Meyer said. “She had been getting letters for a couple months. This letter was kind of the final letter that there was going to be a trial or some kind of something. This is the only thing that we can come up with that triggered something.”
In an emailed statement, a Stanford University spokesperson stated that they were unable to share information about “confidential student disciplinary matters.”
“Our entire community is devastated by Katie’s death, and we share our deepest condolences with Katie’s family and everyone who knew her at Stanford, across the country and around the world. Katie touched so many lives,” the statement read. “We as a university community continue to grieve with Katie’s family and cherish our memories of her.”
Meyer was team captain and goalkeeper on the Stanford women’s soccer team, officials said, and helped lead her team to an NCAA championship in 2019. Her penalty kick saves during the 2019 championship against North Carolina were among the most memorable moments of the game.
Her parents expressed concern that between school and sports, it was too much pressure.
“There is anxiety and there is stress to be perfect, to be the best, to be No. 1,,” Gina Meyer said. “We’re so heartbroken.”
If you or someone you know is exhibiting warning signs of suicide, seek help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).