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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Report finds systemic abuse in U.S. women's soccer
2022-10-04

This article shared 612 times since Tue Oct 4, 2022
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An independent investigation into the scandals that were revealed in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) last season found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the sport, impacting multiple teams, coaches and players, NPR reported.

"Abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women's soccer, beginning in youth leagues, that normalizes verbally abusive coaching and blurs boundaries between coaches and players," former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates wrote in her report on the investigation.

U.S. Soccer commissioned the investigation by Yates and her firm, King & Spaulding, after former NWSL players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim alleged harassment and sexual coercion dating back a decade involving former coach Paul Riley. (Riley, who denied the allegations, was quickly fired as head coach of the North Carolina Courage, and NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird stepped down.)

The independent investigation's 172-page report details the investigation's findings and makes recommendations for action going forward, according to the firm's press release. It also releases materials from two prior investigations concerning coaching misconduct—one conducted by the Portland Thorns and one conducted by U.S. Soccer.

There have also been reports, columns, lawsuits and even documentaries regarding abuse of women in other sports, including gymnastics and figure skating.

The entire "Report of the Independent Investigation to the U.S. Soccer Federation Concerning Allegations of Abusive Behavior and Sexual Misconduct in Women's Professional Soccer"—conducted by an all-woman team from King & Spaulding—is at tinyurl.com/3j7a34se.


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