US midfielder Lindsey Horan says she doesn’t want Sally Yates’ report into emotional abuse and sexual misconduct in her country’s domestic league to be the ‘endpoint’ of abuse talks and investigations in women’s football.
A year-long independent inquiry into sexual abuse and misconduct that was published monday revealed that abuse and misconduct had become systemic, affecting multiple teams, coaches and victims in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Ahead of the World Champions game against European champions England at Wembley on Friday night which was sold out, Horan said: “It’s not just the NWSL, it’s women’s football in general, it’s women in general, we have these problems all over the world, it’s a global systemic problem. So I don’t want that to be the end point.
“This investigation has been advanced and we are grateful for that, but it has taken way too long. This has all been unbelievably prolonged and I’m sitting here and thinking to myself: this isn’t over, this is all over the place. world and being a player in Europe right now, I know that.
England’s Lucy Bronze echoed those sentiments. “Obviously we don’t know the ins and outs of all of this, we’ve read a bit, but each of us stands in solidarity with all of these players,” she said.
“Especially those who have spoken out and spoken their truths, because I can imagine – well, I can’t even imagine – how difficult it must be to have gone through this and then to speak out.
“The bigger picture is that speaking out will hopefully make sure this stuff doesn’t happen again and that they can find solutions, people can be held accountable. The most important thing for us to do, not just as English and American players, is to support these players – it’s just shameful and quite upsetting to read some of the stories.
“There are obviously problems in women’s football all over the world. We want to bring about change, help support it and also show what level women’s sport should be at, whether it’s the professionalism on the pitch and how you perform on the pitch, the environments in which you live, breathe and you train.
Horan, who is on loan at Lyon from Portland Thorns – one of the clubs accused of failing to fully participate in the investigation – and Crystal Dunn, who plays for Portland, said the players struggled to be proud of their achievements with the clubs and the United States. Football after the two were damned in the report for their failure to address abuse allegations.
“I’m part of an organization I’ve always been very proud to play for, a team I fight for on the pitch, a club I fight for on the pitch,” Horan said. “So it’s hard to read this and look back and feel proud to play for an organization like that. It’s really hard for me personally…that’s where I feel hurt and upset and so of anger for these players too.
Dunn said: “The shirts we wear, it’s hard to be happy with them, it’s hard to find joy in them. The sport that we play, we really love it and as difficult as it is to put on the jersey that you think represents so much devastation, atrocity and trauma, I think leaning on each other others is how we get by.