The biggest stars of USA soccer and members of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) call out the U.S.Soccer Federation (USSF) for its failure to protect the health and welfare of their players as they condoned sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse by coaches especially among minor girls who play in the under-18 soccer league.
The accusations against the USSF were addressed in a letter sent to ESPN. Signees of this letter are USA women’s soccer stars Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, and other professional soccer players who played and are playing in the USWNT.
The letter stressed that the USSF “failed to do the bare minimum” and described their response to the allegations as “willful inaction.” The players demand that USSF must not only investigate but rather take immediate action against abusers in their organisation, and coaching licences must immediately be revoked from these suspects.
The Rory Dames Scandal
Last Tuesday, a report from the Washington Post said that ex-Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames had sexual misbehaviour while he was a coach for the under-18 women’s soccer team and one of his players reported his sexual advances to the police back in 1998. Dames went on to coach the Red Stars after his stint as a soccer youth coach. In 2018, USWNT player Christen Press filed charges against Dames for emotionally abusive behaviour.
The USSF said they were going to perform an investigation on Christen Press’ complaints, but a resolution was never granted. Rory Dames continued his professional career despite the allegations. He did not receive any suspensions or temporarily revoke his licence while the case was pending. The lack of action from the USSF irks all these women’s soccer players who finally voiced out their displeasure. Dames resigned as Red Stars coach last November when the formal complaint finally reached the media.
The Rory Dames scandal paved the way for other female soccer players to come out and share their experiences of emotional and physical abuse from coaches during their playing careers. Although the USSF has already released a statement on this issue, the players are still doubtful of the organisation as they expect partial accountability for the incidents that happened to their players.