Women’s Sports Foundation Facilitates Protest On Behalf of Victims of Sexual Abuse
New York, NY (June 2, 2014) – The Women’s Sports Foundation commends the decision of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) and USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus to withdraw Mr. Wielgus’s name from consideration for ISHOF induction. While this is a difficult action taken by both parties, it is without a doubt the appropriate outcome.
This decision sends a clear and powerful message to all youth-serving organizations, including the Olympic movement: not only must there be zero tolerance for sexual abuse, but also that leaders must do all within their power to protect the victims, perform competent investigations and remove abusers from positions of access and power. The decision also reinforces the need for the United States Olympic Committee to create an independent entity to investigate and sanction coaches that sexually abuse their athletes.
This marks the latest in the ongoing efforts to ensure that victims of sexual abuse are heard. We applaud and are humbled by these swimmers’ courage. Their bravery, and the unwavering support of those around them, are vital in helping us advance toward full access to a safe and welcoming environment – without fear of abuse – for athletes everywhere.
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Kevin Pchola, Zeno Group