Statement regarding the Independent Investigation and the Release of the Yates Report
While our instincts and knowledge have shown us for over a year that the system of women’s soccer is and has been broken, the findings released publicly on October 3, 2022, have confirmed and validated the beliefs of members of the Independent Supporters Council that these players were not protected by their teams, their league, or their soccer federation.
On September 30, 2021, the Independent Supporters Council released a statement condemning the behavior that was protected, promoted, and ignored by people within the NWSL. Supporters now see that the names on record go far beyond just the NWSL. As we have stated before, in order for this sport to grow, players must feel supported and protected. If they cannot trust the teams, leagues, and federations they play for, then there is no trust in the sport and the growth is stunted or stopped completely. Accountability must happen for every incident, at every team, and every level of soccer. Clubs lied. League officials lied. We still do not have faith in the system to do the job that is required. However, we will continue to stay committed in our goal of keeping those we have influence over as supporters accountable to their actions.
While next steps will look different for every team and group, we are confident that in order to protect past, current, and future players, as well as the sport we love, the entire system must be uprooted. This includes the necessity of the removal of staff and ownership of clubs, leagues, and federations who have been identified through the investigation. Those who knew and took zero action should have zero influence on how this sport is governed worldwide. We applaud the players who never backed down and continuously re-lived their trauma to make sure they were heard. We applaud those who pushed for the truth when others were unwilling to be forthcoming in what they knew. We acknowledge that there are victims who have not shared their stories. Because of you and your courage, future generations of women’s soccer players will be protected in ways you were not, but deserved.
To the players: Through the remainder of the season, you may see supporters across leagues in North America boycott in various ways. These boycotts are in protest of the system and the need for immense reform that has been identified. While these are not directed at you, they are an action that groups involved find necessary. As supporters, we are committed to be by your side, not only supporting you on the field, but in every facet possible.