Safe sport series - Athlete abuse in the public sphere
“Athletes are on an achievement pathway in their head and they are told in sport they should to tolerate anything that happens to them, even if it is injurious, or dangerous or evil and you should tolerate that on your path to greatness.”
“People think discipline, rigor, tough training is on same continuum as bullying and abuse, and it's not. You can be rigorous and demanding and push young people and indeed athletes to the envelope of what they tolerate but you can do that with their long-term health and safety in mind.” John Amaechi, 1 Retired NBA Player
This is the author’s second article in a safe sport series.
The first article, available here 2 , explained the different types of abuse in sport, before looking in detail at the sexual abuse of minors in the context of the USA Gymnastics (USAG) case. In doing so, it also examined how the governing autonomy enjoyed by sports organizations can contribute to creating systemic problems; the need for greater athlete representation; and the response by US law makers that was led by changemaker, Nancy Hogshead-Makar.
This second article moves on to examine in more detail some of the other types of abuse present in sport. Whereas the USAG abuse happened in private where it was tricky to isolate, this piece will focus on other types of abuse that is happening out in the open. To do this, it will focus on:
Familial abuse in tennis
Sexual harassment and the National Collegiate Athletic Association
Sexual violence by student athletes
Continue reading this article...
Already a member? Sign in
Get access to all of the expert analysis and commentary at LawInSport including articles, webinars, conference videos and podcast transcripts. Find out more here.
- Tags: Abuse | American Football | Athlete Welfare | Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) | College Sport | Duty of Care Review | FIFA | Gymnastics | International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) | International Olympic Committee | International Olympic Committee (IOC) | International Tennis Federation | National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) | Olympic Charter | Safe Sport | Tennis | The FA | The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (Safe Sport Act) | Title IX | United Kingdom (UK) | United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights | United States of America (USA) | Universal Declaration of Player Rights | US Olympic Committee | USA Gymnastics (USAG) | World Player’s Association Universal Declaration of Player Rights
- How the USOC’s SafeSport policies are tackling athlete abuse and harassment
- Duty of Care in Sport: Making the case for a Sports Ombudsman in the UK
- A review of the current inquiries & investigations into abuse in UK football
- Safe sport series - The systemic problems in sport that leave athletes at risk of abuse
- Safe sport series - The international responses to athlete abuse in sport
Nikki is a two-time Olympic swimmer from Canada and a human-rights and immigration attorney in New York. She competed at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, with a top finish of 6th place, and covered the 2004 and 2008 Olympics for SwimNews Magazine. She has a BA in International Relations from Brown University and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.