USWNT players ‘not doing well’, call for change following Sally Yates report

U.S. Women’s National Team defender Becky Sauerbrunn spoke on Tuesday about the release of the U.S. Soccer-commissioned report that highlighted widespread and systemic abuse in women’s soccer.

Video Transcript

BECKY SAUERBRUNN: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] and I just wanted to take some space to address the Sallie Yates report. And first, we really want to thank the players, both named and unnamed, that came forward and shared their stories and what quite possibly could be the worst moments of their careers and very easily their lives. And we also want to thank the other individuals that came forward to participate in the investigation that shed more light on the course of an abusive nature and culture of the NWSL.

And because I imagine we'll get this question eventually, the players are not doing well. We are horrified and heartbroken and frustrated and exhausted and really, really angry. We are angry that it took a third party investigation. We are angry that it took an article in the Athletic and the Washington Post and numerous others. We're angry that it took over 200 people sharing their trauma to get to this point right now. And we are angry that it took Mona and Sinead and Erin and Kaia and Alex and Kristen and Sam to repeatedly ask people in authority to take their abuse and their concerns seriously.

And I think for so long, this has always fallen on the player to demand change. And that is because the people in authority and decision making positions have repeatedly failed to protect us. And they have failed to hold themselves and each other accountable. And what and who were you actually protecting? And what values are you upholding? You have failed in your stewardship. And it's my opinion that every owner and executive and US Soccer official who has repeatedly failed the players and failed to protect the players, who have hidden behind legalities, and have not participated fully in these investigations should be gone. And at the bare minimum, the recommendations that are in the Sallie Yates report should be immediately implemented by US Soccer and by the league.

As for feeling safe, I mean-- how do you answer that? All I know is that the team that I play with and the staff-- the technical staff and the medical staff-- those people are good people. But the things that have happened above them in the front office, as owners, are abhorrent. And it cannot continue. And the fact that people were abused because things weren't done well and right is inexcusable. And so it doesn't matter if I feel safe. I don't think anyone's 100% safe. And that's not good enough. Everyone should be 100% safe and free of abuse.