Even if they did not participate in the events, the women’s football managers who remained silent in the cases of assault and sexual abuse must leave. This is the position defended on Tuesday by the captain of the United States team, Becky Sauerbrunnduring a videoconference from London, where the American selection will face England in a friendly match on Friday.
The players are “horrified and heartbroken,” said the 37-year-old two-time world champion the day after the release of the results of the independent investigation led by former US Attorney General Sally.
This 172-page report includes interviews with more than 200 North American League players (NWSL) and details the abuses committed by different coaches, manipulation, bullying and retaliation against female players. Facts that include “comments with a sexual connotation, anticipations, unwanted touches and forced sexual intercourse” within the professional league and beyond, in facilities dedicated to young people.
“Any owner, officer, manager of American women’s football who has failed in their duty to the players, who did not protect them, who hid behind legal considerations and did not participate fully in these investigations should be fired. Sauerbrunn said. .
Two club owners have already resigned
Merritt Paulson, owner of Sauerbrunn’s club Portland Thorns, is accused in Yates’ report, along with other club officials, of having turned a blind eye to the abuse of Paul Riley, the team’s former coach. Paulson, who is also the owner of the Portland Timbers franchise in the men’s league (MLS), announced Tuesday that he will step down as manager of the Thorns pending the conclusion of a separate investigation by the NWSL along with the players union. He was joined by another owner of the club, that of the Chicago Red Stars, Arnim Whisler, who also announced his retirement.
During the videoconference, Sauerbrunn insisted on the “frustration” of her teammates and herself. “We are exhausted and we are really, really angry. Why it took third party investigations, why articles were posted Atletico and the Washington Post [qui ont révélé l’affaire]because it took more than 200 people to share their trauma, ”he said.
The coach Vlatko Andonovski for his part, he indicated that he wanted to leave the players the choice of “not playing” on Friday, if they did not feel mentally able to do so. “Some need time to think about all of this. This is why we allow them to do what they need to get through this difficult period. “