The following statement was released today by Mana Shim, Chair of U.S. Soccer’s Participant Safety Taskforce, which was created following the conclusion of former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates’s independent investigation into allegations of abusive behavior and sexual misconduct in women’s professional soccer.
I’ve accepted a job as Chair of the new Participant Safety Taskforce at U.S. Soccer because there’s still so much that needs to be done when it comes to changing the culture of soccer in this country. I love this sport, and I believe we have an opportunity in this moment to protect players and set a new standard for all sports. We don’t have any time to waste.
Sally Yates’s report made it clear that, for far too long, leaders across the soccer ecosystem – including at U.S. Soccer – have not taken responsibility for protecting players. But I believe in the capacity for change. As leader of the Taskforce, I am committed to ensuring not only that Yates's recommendations are implemented, but that we push beyond them. We need to find the root causes of our sport’s systemic failures and take action at every level – from the youth game to the professional game.
I’m confident that, in Cindy and JT, U.S. Soccer has the leadership that will be essential to supporting my work, and we’ve already begun the process of identifying stakeholders from every level of soccer to be part of the Taskforce. I’m deeply appreciative of the cooperation and willingness to do the hard work that we’ve already seen from leaders across soccer – including at the NWSL and NWSLPA. I’m honored to play a leadership role as we move forward.
The Participant Safety Taskforce will convene leaders in soccer at all levels across the country to coordinate efforts to implement the Yates report’s recommendations and to ensure increased clarity on conduct-related policies and procedures. The Taskforce will release additional information in the coming days about its mission, membership roster and timeline for progress.
Information about the Taskforce, as well as U.S. Soccer’s commitment to comprehensively address the recommendations in the Yates report and prioritize participant safety, can be found online in the U.S. Soccer Participant Safety Hub.