Skip to main content

Sexual Abuse by Coaches Against Athletes

WHEREAS, the national goal of Women in NAACP in part, is to "(3) advocate for the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual development of children;" and

WHEREAS, sexual abuse, in part, is defined as an unwanted sexual activity with perpetrators using force, making threats, or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent; and

WHEREAS, traditionally, athletes place their trust in their coaches, taking their advice and following their instructions due to the relationship between the coach and child-athlete. Coaches often come into close contact with girls as young as 11 years of age in sports in locker rooms, overnight trips, and traveling tournaments where parents or other adults may not be present to supervise or observe the interaction between coaches and the child-athlete; and

WHEREAS, many girls remain silent and do not speak out about abusive coaches because of their fear and or desire to remain in competition for local and state championship awards or are merely unaware of what is inappropriate behavior; and

WHEREAS, an eleven-year-old girl believing that she was destined for U.S. Olympics and that she would be in safe hands with her coach, quit the sport out of fear following years of disturbing alleged sexual assault by her coach; and

WHEREAS, teachers, school employees, educators, and childcare custodians are all mandated reporters and have a duty to report known or suspected abuse relating to children but they often turn away and do not report the abuse leaving young girls in the hands of their and often times abusive coaches; and

WHEREAS, women have detailed how former U.S. Olympic, and women's team physician Larry Nassar had repeatedly sexually abused them on their way to winning gold for Team USA at the Olympic Games and World Championship, and three organizations entrusted with their safety, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, and the FBI, had failed to protect them; and

WHEREAS, Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic and 19-time World champion stated before US Representatives how officials and coaches failed to inform her of Larry Nassar's inappropriate conduct. Aly Ralsman, a three-time Olympic gold medalist informed senators that Nassar's conduct was concealed from her also.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will advocate for the education of youth, parents, and their caregivers as to what is inappropriate sexual behavior by coaches, other staff, and volunteers.