On Tuesday, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (D-N.C.) and 43 other members of Congress published an open letter to U.S. Soccer calling for the organization’s cooperation with an investigation into systemic abuse across the NWSL. The letter was issued approximately a month after the results of former acting U.S. attorney general Sally Yates’s investigation were released, which found that “abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women’s soccer.”
Meantime, the NWSL and the NWSL Players Association have been conducting their own joint investigation to assess the working environments of all 12 teams.
Following the letter’s release, Ross said she hopes the progress that’s been made thus far is only the beginning.
“I think it’s good that Congress makes sure that people know we haven’t forgotten about something [after] writing one letter,” Ross said, per The Athletic‘s Meg Linehan. “There actually has been some really good progress made, and we don’t want to take anything away from the progress that has been made.”
Ross said she hoped that an “artificial wall” between the NWSL and U.S. Soccer would not be an impediment to the investigation, and she asked for information and a timeline on the league’s implementation of the report’s recommendations. This comes one day after U.S. Soccer appointed former NWSL player Mana Shim as the chair of the task force created to prevent abuse and harassment of women.
The results of the Yates report made it evident that abuse was not isolated to a couple of teams. Five of the 10 head coaches in the NWSL last season either were fired or stepped down amid allegations of misconduct.
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