Ex-NFL CB Shareece Wright comes forward as 1 of 12 sexual assault accusers against HS trainer

BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Shareece Wright #20 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before the start of NFL game action against the New York Jets at New Era Field on September 10, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Former NFL cornerback Shareece Wright identified himself to ESPN as one of 12 anonymous plaintiffs in a lawsuit against a former high school athletic trainer, which accuses her of sexually assaulting them while they were minors in high school.

Wright said he hoped speaking out would help prevent the same thing from other children:

"Being a dad and having kids and having nieces and nephews that are going to public schools, it just hit home," Wright said. "I just want to make the conversation comfortable for people to speak up about."

The case in question is centered around Tiffany Strauss-Gordon, who was reportedly suspended in 2022 from Colton High School after six former students, including Wright, filed their lawsuit. She has denied all of the allegations in the lawsuit and has not been criminally charged.

The number of plaintiffs has since increased to 12.

Strauss-Gordon is the daughter of former Colton head coach Harold Strauss, who coached the Southern California school for more than three decades and died in 2019. Wright is one of several NFL players to come out of the football powerhouse during Strauss' tenure.

Wright told ESPN he met Strauss-Gordon in 2002, when he was a 15-year-old freshman and she was 21. He reportedly described her behavior as flirtatious, saying he now recognizes it as grooming, and escalated into multiple sexual encounters over the next three years. He claimed she touched him inappropriately during treatment sessions, performed oral sex on him in team facilities and had sex with him during weekly team dinners at her father's home.

His attorney said the environment was enabled by Strauss-Gordon's status in the program:

"You've got football, you've got the coach's daughter, you've got a permissive school environment where it's allowed to happen. I mean, you've got sort of a perfect storm of sexual abuse that could be covered up easily," attorney Morgan Stewart, who represents Wright and eight other plaintiffs, told ESPN.

Strauss-Gordon's attorney reportedly cautioned that the allegations might not be truthful:

According to an August 2022 police video, Strauss-Gordon was asked by a police detective why multiple men would make such allegations and responded: "Why do you file a lawsuit? For money."

"Fundamentally, you have to remember that allegations are just allegations," Strauss-Gordon's attorney, Daniel Kolodziej, told ESPN. "I would urge the public to recognize that just because there's smoke doesn't mean there's fire."

Wright graduated from Colton in 2006 and attended USC, where he became a team captain and played his way into the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played in games for four different teams — the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans — and also spent time on the practice squad of the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.