The US Center for SafeSport said it is ready to work with the US Soccer Athletes Council to address the concerns of the organization tasked with protecting athletes from abuse.
The US Soccer Athletes Council sent a letter to the US Congress and the House of Representatives this week signed by more than 100 current and former national team players, including the entire US team playing in the Women’s World Cup.
“As athletes, we want to lead a partnership with Congress and the National Governing Bodies of Sport to create a safe and supportive environment that allows football players – and all other athletes on the Olympic road – to succeed on and off the field. We are committed to working with you and others who they are involved in the necessary changes to ensure that players are safe and protected from abusive behavior and are safe,” he said. he said.
SafeSport CEO Ju’Riese Colon also sent a letter to players on Friday, inviting them to discuss their concerns.
The players’ letter to Congress comes in the wake of abuse and violence that has rocked the National Women’s Soccer League. In 2021, two former players came forward and accused former coach Paul Riley of bad behavior and forced sex. Riley, who denied the charges, was fired and later banned from the league.
Riley was among 10 of 10 NWSL coaches fired or resigned that year for misconduct. It prompted an investigation by US Soccer and the league itself. They both found a culture of wrongdoing.
The player’s letter said SafeSport had announced that most of the cases had been closed “without a decision in favor of any party”.
“These consequences are very painful for the victims. We have seen our colleagues working hard and courageously to tell their stories, but the investigators close their case without finding any evidence. When the cases are closed, there is no real closure for the victims. , and the most disturbing thing is that those who treat them abusers have the right to return to their sport,” said the letter.