The NWSL returns to the scandal and shows us that abuse problems are a systematic thing in this league. Five coaches have been charged with emotional, sexual abuse and problems of another nature. And the players have been at the center as victims who have raised their voices only to be ignored or even see how their careers have been put at risk.
On this occasion, the former Chicago Stars coach, Rory Dames, is the one who is in the dock for his treatment of players not only at the professional level, but also for the many careers that were cut short by not following the game that he himself established. One of his victims was Christen Press, a franchise player for Angel City and the United States National Team.
In a report by journalist Molly Hensley-Clancy for the Washington Post, she tells how the California native is one of seven players who talk about what they lived under the command of this DT. Press shared that since 2014 he had filed a formal complaint with US Soccer. She spoke of the toxic environment of the team and how she and her teammates suffered emotional harassment. The response he received was that these were normal attitudes of a professional coach.
“” Things were happening that were inappropriate. But they had told me to shut up, that this was fine. “”
– Christians Press
If she wanted to have her place in the national team, she had to play in the NWSL, which pushed her to stay on the team. But in 2017 he said enough is enough. The rest was a very uncomfortable moment for the player, where both the media and fans called her a “diva” for wanting to leave Chicago, not wanting to go to Houston Dash because of the toxic environment that was lived at that time in the team, and ending up going to Sweden to continue his career. Even many applauded that she was not called up to the national team, which turned out to be a decision based on not wanting to play where she was being asked, without trying to understand why the player did not want to.
It took years for all this to come to light, and this is where the reflection begins: why, as journalists, we do not seek to make human coverage where before putting our finger on the scandal, we look for the true reasons for fund to denounce injustices and abuses? How many media outlets took the time to investigate the player’s reasons and provide a safe space for her to speak? It is an exercise that must be carried out not only in women’s soccer, but in men’s as well.
Today, before calling a diva or using other adjectives to define an athlete or a situation, let’s think about the human over the player. And if we start with that premise, we will always end up running into the truth, whatever it may be. Athletes deserve it.