Report Details ‘Systemic’ Abuse of Players in Women’s Soccer

Oct 4, 2022

One coach called in a player to review game film and showed her pornography instead. Another was notorious at the highest levels of women’s soccer for alternately berating his players and then quizzing them about their sex lives.

A third coach coerced multiple players into sexual relationships, behavior that one top team found so disturbing that it fired him. But when he was hired by a rival team only a few months later, the original club, which had documented his behavior in an internal investigation, said nothing. Instead, it publicly wished him well in his new post.

Those details and others fill a highly anticipated investigative report into abuse in women’s soccer that found sexual misconduct, verbal abuse and emotional abuse by coaches in the game’s top tier, the National Women’s Soccer League, and issued warnings that girls face abuse in youth soccer as well.

The report was published Monday, a year after players outraged by what they saw as a culture of abuse in their sport demanded changes by refusing to take the field. It found that leaders of the N.W.S.L. and the United States Soccer Federation — the governing body of the sport in America — as well as owners, executives and coaches at all levels failed to act on years of voluminous and persistent reports of abuse by coaches.

Source: The New York Times