Released in October 2022, the results of an independent investigation led by former United States Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates exposed a disturbing pattern of verbal abuse, sexual misconduct, and inappropriate relationships between coaches and players in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The investigation, which was conducted over the course of a year, found that instances of misconduct were not isolated to specific teams, coaches, owners, or players—but were rather indicative of a “deeper culture” of abuse and mistreatment that pervaded the League.
Over 200 interviews were performed over the length of the investigation. Only three women’s soccer clubs did not comply with the inquiry. Those three teams, Portland Thorns FC, the Chicago Red Stars, and Racing Louisville FC, were noted in the report.
Key findings that U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone called “heartbreaking and deeply troubling” revealed multiple occurrences of unreported abuse, overlooked misconduct, and concealed knowledge of inappropriate behavior. In many cases, coaches reprimanded for improper actions were allowed to move to other teams without penalty or disclosure of their past offenses.
A few specific cases detailed in the Yates report showed that coaches had verbally berated, discussed the sex lives of, and shown pornography to players.
President Cone stated that at least three of the report’s recommendations will be put into immediate effect. These include the creation of an Office of Participant Safety responsible for policy and reporting, the public identification of those punished for inappropriate conduct, and the establishment of mandatory background checks for all soccer league participants, including youth leagues.
In addition to this recently-released report, a separate investigation conducted by Amanda Kramer, former Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), is currently ongoing.
Thomas Law Offices personal injury law firm is an advocate for victims of sexual abuse and assault nationwide. Our attorneys help survivors win justice and seek healing through civil legal action. If you have questions or are pursuing legal guidance, please contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with an attorney qualified in sexual assault litigation.