Our mission is to ensure that any person involved in reporting or being investigated concernIng disciplinary charges related to misconduct in amateur sports subject to the jurisdiction of the USOPC and its related NGBs and affiliates is afforded participation in a timely, equitable, and confidential process until final adjudication of any alleged offense(s) on the merits thereof.
First, to establish the legal boundaries intended by Congress in amending the Ted Stevens Act as it pertains to the use of the Center for SafeSport to protect amateur athletes against abuse.
Second, to create a dialogue with the Center for SafeSport, the USOPC and its related NGBs and affiliates to address the current status of the policies and procedures that lack legal equity and seek to make recommendations for a more fair process for all.
Third, to obtain Congressional support for the agreed policy changes addressing equity in procedures both proactively and retroactively.
Fourth, to press forward for Judicial and Congressional remedies compelling equitable policy changes to SafeSport, the USOPC and its related NGBs and affiliates which will include legal filings to the appropriate level of the law, if negotiations are unsuccessful.
What is SafeSport?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport, also known as SafeSport, is “an independent nonprofit committed to building a sport community where participants can work and learn together free of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and misconduct,” according to its official website. According to Form 990s filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the year of formation of SafeSport was 2014. Its mission is described as “to make athlete well-being the centerpiece of our nation’s sports culture.” The organization specifically focuses on U.S. Olympic sports.
SafeSport is based in Denver, Colorado and opened an office there in March 2017, according to a press release. “Prevention is at the heart of The Center’s charter,” the statement read. “Its Education and Outreach Office promotes issue awareness and provides athletes and sport organizations, at all levels of competition, with best-in-class resources and training to promote respect and prevent abuse. These materials include talking points, fact sheets, self-evaluation tools and a comprehensive online training course. The Center also centralizes best practices, connecting sport organizations with thought leaders on issues common across sport.”
The idea of SafeSport was “to have a single agency empowered to investigate and rule on accusations of misconduct, taking those responsibilities away from the organizations that run individual sports, like U.S.A. Gymnastics, U.S.A. Swimming (caught up in a scandal of its own) and others,” according to the New York Times. The phrase “SafeSport” originated in 2010, according to Deadspin, after “a series of reports aired on ABC and ESPN exposing how little USA Swimming did to protect its athletes from sexual abuse: There were no pre-hiring background checks, many people never thought to report warning signs they saw and many others willfully looked the other way because they put winning first. In response, USA Swimming started a program it dubbed SafeSport, which the entire Olympic movement later adopted.”