All athletes have a right to engage in safe sport, defined as an athletic environment that is respectful, equitable and free from all forms of abuse. Nevertheless for some athletes, sport brings disturbing experiences of psychological, physical and sexual abuse.
When the Larry Nassar story broke in September 2016, it was a watershed moment for sport. How could Nassar, as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics, sexually abuse with impunity for more than a decade, members of the team? It sent shockwaves through the world of sport, and yet abuse still happens. The past few years have seen more and more athletes finding their voice and sharing their stories. This has not just been gymnasts – footballers, swimmers, figure skaters, triathletes, martial arts athletes from around the world have shared eerily similar stories. The question is: how does this happen? What are the factors in the sporting environment that enable this abuse and that enable the perpetrators of abuse to often act with impunity? What is being done, is it enough and what more needs to change in order to break these cycles of abuse?
Webinar moderated by Mary Harvey, CEO Centre for Sport and Human Rights with guests including:
- Kat Craig - CEO Athlead
- Minky Worden - Director of Global Initiatives, Human Rights Watch
- Anne Tiivas - Chair of Safe Sport International
- Kelly Lindsey - Director of Women’s Football at Federation Royale Marocaine de Football
- Shoichi Sugiyama - partner at Tokyo firm Field-R Law Offices, which provides services in the field of sports law including athlete abuse.