Torrance, CA (July 27, 2023) – Last week, the Athletes Council of U.S. Soccer sent a signed letter to Congress, sharing their concerns about the U.S. Center for SafeSport. They asked Congress to pass legislation in order for the necessary changes to SafeSport’s processes be made, thus making it safer for all players to play the beautiful game. AYSO shares U.S. Soccer’s commitment to prioritizing the safety of all who participate in our sport.
“AYSO fully supports the views and the call to action put forth by the Athletes Council,” shared Michael Karon, National President of AYSO and U.S. Soccer board member. “We believe SafeSport must evolve to meet the objectives it set out to accomplish. We will work collaboratively with U.S. Soccer, Congress and SafeSport to help initiate change that will protect all through improving SafeSport’s processes.”
AYSO has a long-standing record of incorporating youth participant safety in all our programming before SafeSport was implemented, but SafeSport has played an important role in advancing our shared goal of creating safe environments for sports participation over the last few years within the larger soccer landscape. And, while they remain an essential partner in this work, there are troubling limitations within SafeSport’s processes that have had a significant impact on the ability of national governing bodies (NGBs), like U.S. Soccer, to protect athletes and other participants.
U.S. Soccer and the Athletes Council have recommended improvements, which AYSO asks our AYSO members to support. Those recommendations include:
- Increased transparency and information sharing
- Increased ability for NGBs to take action
- Reform and reduced use of administrative closures
- Changes to the appeals process
AYSO calls on Congress to help make these critical changes a reality and ensure that an entity created by Congress to protect everyone in the Olympic movement, is effectively fulfilling its mission.
Established in 1964, AYSO is a national nonprofit organization that develops and delivers quality youth soccer programs, which promote a fun, family environment based on AYSO’s Six Philosophies: Everyone Plays®, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship, and Player Development. Today, AYSO has 1.6 million players, parents, siblings and volunteers. For more information, visit www.AYSO.org.
About U.S. Soccer
Founded in 1913, the U.S. Soccer Federation has been the official governing body of the sport in the United States for more than 100 years. During that time, the sport has grown tremendously at all levels. As U.S. Soccer looks towards the future, its mission is to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States. With a long-term and strategic approach, U.S. Soccer aims to accomplish its mission by supporting its members to increase participation at the youth and adult levels, develop world class players, coaches, and referees to consistently win at the highest levels on the international stage and serve the fans by engaging with them in deeper and more meaningful ways. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.
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