December 9, 2022

USWNT, Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn: Players 'failed' to lead

USWNT, Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn: Players ‘failed’ to lead

US women’s national team defender Becky Sauerbrunn said anyone who is still in the NFL and has contributed to their abusive environment should be removed, following the release of a Yates report detailing the abusive culture in professional women’s football.

“For a long time, this has always fallen to the player to demand change, because people in positions of power and decision-making have repeatedly failed to protect us and failed to hold themselves and each other accountable,” Sauerbrunn said. While media is available in London. “And what and who do you actually protect and what values ​​do you uphold? I failed in your leadership.

“And my view is that every owner, executive, and NFL official who has repeatedly failed players and failed to protect players, who hid behind the legal aspects and were not fully involved in these investigations should go away.”

Minutes before Sauerbrunn began addressing the media, Portland Thorns owner Merritt Paulson issued a statement informing the NWSL that “it will be removed [himself] Effective today from all Thorns related decision making until the completion of a joint investigation by the NWSL and the NWSL Players Association.

The same goes for football chief Gavin Wilkinson and business chief Mike Golub, all of whom are prominently featured in the report as having enabled or turned a blind eye to abuse, the statement added.

Asked if her comments applied to Paulson, Sauerbrunn said: “It includes everyone who kept failing players over and over, who didn’t take the concern seriously, who didn’t communicate information properly, and who didn’t get involved in the investigations. All of them.”

Later on Tuesday, Chicago Red Stars owner Arnim Whistler announce He was removing himself from his managerial role on the NWSL Board of Regents and handing over operational control of the club to our Chicago Executive Team.

Yates’ report found Whistler dismissed players’ concerns about Red Stars coach Rory Dams’ behavior prior to his resignation on November 21, 2021 amid accusations from several players of verbal and emotional abuse.

In response to the announcements, NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman issued a statement He said the league is “supportive of the important steps that the Portland Thorns and Chicago Red Stars have taken today.”

“As the university continues to evaluate the Yates report, I would like to assure you that we remain committed to implementing reform and disciplinary action, as a result of the Yates Report and the findings of the NWSL/NWSLPA Joint Investigation Team,” the statement added.

Berman added that the NWSL Joint Investigation Team was working to finalize its report by the end of the year.

The US women’s national team is currently in London as it prepares to face England at Wembley on October 7 and Spain in Pamplona four days later. But the focus was on the contents of the Yates report, which was released on Monday.

– Carlisle: Explanation of the Yates Report – Key Findings and What’s Next

The Yates report, commissioned by US Soccer, detailed allegations of emotional, verbal and sexual abuse by managers within the NWSL. While some information has been previously reported, there have been new discoveries about how former Racing Louisville coach Kristi Holly was fired for touching one of his players multiple times, as well as additional details in the allegations against the former Portland Thorns coach and North Carolina brave. Paul Riley, and former Chicago Red Stars manager Rory Dames.

“The players are not doing a good job,” Sauerbrunn said. “We’re terrified, sad, frustrated, exhausted, really angry. We’re angry because it required a third party investigation. We’re angry because he took an article in The Athletic, the Washington Post, and so many others. We’re angry that it took more than 200 people who share the trauma with us to get to this point now.” .

Sauerbrunn added that players are also angry because they have taken the stories of several players, including Mana Shim, Sinead Farrelly, and Irene Simon, “to repeatedly demand that people in power take their abuse and concerns seriously.”

US director Vlatko Andonovsky said he was “sad” and “disbelief” about the contents of the report. He added that he tried as much as possible to give his players the necessary space and time to process the findings of the report in their own way.

“It’s not easy, because it’s not easy for the players. It’s not easy for the coaching staff because we’ve all been affected in some way,” Andonovsky said. “We have all been affected in different ways, and we all deal with this in different ways as well.

“Some players, some staff members need someone to talk to. Some people need time, some need space, some need to process all of that. And some need instruction and that’s why as a crew we let the players think and process and do all the work. Basically what they need to get through this difficult time.”