USWNT, Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn: Players ‘failed’ by leadership

U.S. women’s national team defense attorney Becky Sauerbrunn said that following the release of the Yates report, which detailed the culture of abusive behavior in women’s professional soccer, all those still serving in the NWSL who contributed to its abusive environment will be removed would have to.

“It’s always fallen on the player to demand change for so long, and that’s because the people in positions of authority and decision-making have consistently failed to protect us and failed to hold themselves and each other accountable ‘ Sauerbrunn said during media availability in London. “And what and who do you actually protect and what values ​​do you uphold? You have failed in your responsibility.

“And I believe that every owner, manager and US football official who has repeatedly failed the players and failed to protect the players, who has hidden behind the law and who has not fully participated in this investigation, go away should.”

Minutes before Sauerbrunn began addressing the media, Merritt Paulson, the owner of her club team, the Portland Thorns, released a statement informing the NWSL that he “is being fired.” [himself] applies today to all decisions relating to Thorns” pending a joint investigation by the NWSL and the NWSL Players Association.

The statement added that the same will apply to football president Gavin Wilkinson and business president Mike Golub, all of whom featured prominently in the report for allowing or turning a blind eye to abuse.

When asked if her comments applied to Paulson, Sauerbrunn said: “This includes everyone who has failed players time and time again, who has not taken concerns seriously, who has not shared information properly, who has not participated in investigations . All of them.”

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

– Carlisle: Yates Report Explained – Key Findings and What’s Next

The report, commissioned by US Soccer, details allegations of emotional, verbal and sexual abuse by managers within the NWSL. While some of the information had previously been reported, there were new revelations about how former Racing Louisville manager Christy Holly was fired for repeatedly groping one of his players, as well as additional details on the allegations against the former manager of Portland Thorns and North Carolina Courage Paul Riley and Rory Dames, former Chicago Red Stars manager.

“The players are not doing well,” said Sauerbrunn. “We’re horrified and heartbroken and frustrated and exhausted and really, really angry. We are angry that it has required a third party investigation. We are furious that there has been an article in The Athletic and the Washington Post and numerous others. We are furious that it took over 200 people who shared our trauma to get to this point.”

Sauerbrunn added that players were also upset that it took the stories of numerous players, including Mana Shim, Sinead Farrelly and Erin Simon, “to keep asking the authorities to take their insults and their concerns seriously.”

US manager Vlatko Andonovski said he was “sad” and “in disbelief” at the content of the report. He added he tried to give his players as much space and time as possible to process the report’s findings in their own way.

“It’s not easy because it’s not easy for the players. It’s not easy for the staff because we’re all kind of affected,” said Andonovski. “We are all affected in different ways and we all deal with it in different ways.

“Some players, some staff need someone to talk to. Some people need time, some need space, some need to process everything. And some need direction, so as a staff we let the players think and process and basically do whatever it takes to get them through this difficult time.”

https://www.espn.com/soccer/united-states-nwsl/story/4761303/uswntportland-thorns-defender-becky-sauerbrunn-players-failed-by-leadership USWNT, Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn: Players ‘failed’ by leadership

Emma Bowman

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