USA Curling defends CEO's record as NWSL leader one day after scathing report

USA Curling defends CEO’s record as NWSL leader one day after scathing report

EAGAN, Minn. – USA Curling says CEO Jeff Plush “acted accordingly by prioritizing player safety” during his tenure as head of the National Women’s Soccer League, where an investigation found years of systemic emotional abuse. and pointed out sexual misconduct.

The governing body met on Monday after an independent investigation into abuses in women’s football.

A soccer investigation found that Plush, who was NWSL commissioner from 2014 to 2017, was aware of allegations of sexual harassment and coercion against Portland Thorns coach Paul Riley, but refused to allow Riley to remain a coach in the league. Nothing was done to prevent it. Sally Yates, who led the football investigation, said Plush did not respond to requests for an interview.

In a news release, the curling board said it would “move in a way that will review reality and prioritize safety for all.”

Sarah Hirschland, president of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, sent a letter to staff saying the federation is in contact with USA Curling about the investigation.

“We understand that they are reviewing the findings of this investigation as well as the findings of their own investigation that was previously conducted” regarding Plush’s role in the NWSL, Hirschland wrote.

The USOPC has been forced into sweeping reforms in the wake of sexual assault scandals, including that of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually assaulted hundreds of female gymnasts.

“Our determination to make participation in Olympic and Paralympic sports safe for everyone guides our work every day,” said Hirschland. “And yet we know it was never done.”

Torrance player Mana Shim informed Plush about Riley’s advances in 2015, as well as his retaliation when she asked him to stop, according to a report on the soccer investigation. Plush sent Shim’s email to USA Soccer, but the league took no action against Riley.

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