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Market women’s sport to prevent future abuse: USC lecturer


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Earlier this week, a independent investigation Player abuse in the National Women’s Soccer League caused the NWSL and the United States Soccer League to fail several times.

The investigationconducted by former U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, is just the latest in a long line of abhorrent acts against professional female athletes, and the first question I ask is “How can this be stopped?” again? Serious?”

The answer I usually read is “We need to change the culture around women’s sports, because once these women are seen in a professional sports setting, these atrocities will cease to exist. in.” While I completely agree with that assessment, it is clear that making a legitimate change in culture will take years, even decades. During that time, we may see dozens of other abuse victims, and that number is overwhelming. It became a broken record. The victim spoke up. Everyone expressed sympathy. Everyone agrees that changes need to be made, but doesn’t want to make a significant change. A small change is made and we don’t hear from it for a year or two and then another scandal emerges. I believe we are on the right track. That said, I want to identify the best short-term solution(s) to prevent sexual abuse in women’s sports.

I talked to Julianna Kirschnerlecturer for Master’s Program in Communication Management at the University of Southern California, in this regard. Kirschner told Deadspin, “I share your frustration with this, because in the end if it continues like that, it almost becomes white noise.

“The fact that scandals like this continue to happen is proof of the lack of transparency at all levels.” Kirschner continued. “What should happen is a closer look at some of the recruiting activities these teams are involved in. The three coaches identified in the Yates report are all men and I wouldn’t say a man can never coach a women’s team, ridiculous. However, at the same time, there is a lack of diverse coaches. “

Kirschner even points to professional men’s leagues as an example of a lack of diverse coach recruitment. “The NFL doesn’t address this at all. A lot of the coaching staff are white, while many of the players are BEGINSshort. If that’s an issue in the NFL, it shows that there are plenty of leagues that need to make similar changes. I feel like the NFL is one of the more serious leagues. “

The NFL has made a surface-level effort to promote diverse coach hiring in recent years. The Rooney Rule has been put in place to entrust NFL team interview at least minority candidate for open GM and head coach positions. Meanwhile, the NFL begins to award teams select draft compensation for losing minority coaches or executives to advance to other teams. While these rules are intended to promote diversity, they have recently been exposed for reasons minority coach for fake interview.

No example illustrates that statement better The Brian Flores . lawsuit. Despite being a highly respected head coach who worked great with Miami, Flores was fired after three seasons.. He believes he has a chance to land a head coach contract with the New York Giants. However, before his scheduled interview, the Giant alleged chose HC Brian Daboll. This makes it clear that the Rooney Rule is not promoting more diverse recruitment, but is just a box for teams to check in and pat themselves on the back after all has been said and done.

“I like the Rooney Rule, or similar inclusion measures, as a first step to other leagues. But the biggest thing that’s going to happen, and something like this that will greatly help the National Women’s Football League, is a cultural shift, where people really see the value in hiring these people. ,” Kirschner said.

Kirschner admitted that instilling such a culture will take a very long time and will likely require transparency that we, as fans, cannot even understand at present. Kirschner emphasizes that there are too many systemic problems that will constantly resist that change. It will have to be a slow, methodical process to create a system that promotes transparency, abuse reporting and player health, but the results will be well worth it.

Kirschner offers another solution: Marketing women’s sports more aggressively. It’s no secret that women’s sports have struggled to generate the same enthusiasm from fans and media as their men’s sports. However, that lack of branding has created a culture for bad guys to take advantage of the women involved.

“If there is more investment in broadcasting women’s sports and creating opportunities to promote these sports, there will be more opportunities for women’s sports to gain fan support. grave to call to action some changes need to be made”. Kirschner explained. “The key message of the Yates report is transparency, and the more people invest in the sport, the more people call for transparency and the more likely it is that people will see blatant non-transparency. “.

The battle to broadcast more women’s sports has been going on becausewhile now, but there is no greater controversy than preventing abuse in those sports. Providing these athletes with a fan base or a larger platform to stand on will not only prevent team staff and executives from taking advantage of their players, but will also encourage more athletes. moving forward because of fear of reprisal will not be common given the large number of fan bases that support the athletes. That said, the market for women’s sports continues to be one of the hardest to break, and until those fans abound. has been established, the fear of reprisal when moving forward remains strong.

The fact that the public is unaware of the sexual abuse many NWSL players have faced over the years is evidence that there is much more potential for abuse in American women’s sports that we don’t know about.

“I definitely think these things are happening,” Kirschner said. “Especially in terms of how we define tough coaching, you know. ‘We will do things a certain way to achieve a certain result.’ We see this often in men’s sports, also. These things are happening all the time from every level. The more people acknowledge these, disparaging comments or mocking players as a way to elicit a particular response, the more this type of abuse will begin to disappear. It’s not the kind of tough love or touch training. That is abuse.”

The ultimate goal is to prevent these types of abuses didn’t happen in the first place. And thats won’t happen until a cultural shift that values ​​diversity has been adopted in all of America’s professional sports leagues.

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