Probe finds emotional abuse, sexual misconduct in NWSL were systemic failures
A lawsuit filed on behalf of former University of Washington women’s captain and former University of North Dakota graduate assistant Meagan Schillinger seeks to hold the university and several administrators accountable for systemic failures during the women’s national team’s 2016 journey to the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada, and in providing the necessary support and care to players and coaches as they made that trip.
Schillinger was one of 33 players and 12 coaches who were on the 2016 U-20 National Women’s Soccer Team that made the trip from the US to Canada. When the U-19 team left for Canada, Schillinger played in the U.S. Women’s Cup and played in the inaugural NWSL All-Star Game against Mexico’s Xolos. She was then signed by the University of Washington where she played in every match from then until June 30, 2016.
The report, which outlines a number of examples of alleged abuse, is available in its entirety here.
When news of the lawsuit first broke, the UW Athletic department responded by saying that the allegations related to past events, and were “untrue.”
On Tuesday the school issued a news release saying that the lawsuit, as it read from the complaint, was “based on allegations of behavior that is both abhorrent and utterly inexcusable, which includes acts of physical and emotional abuse during training sessions, sexual misconduct, and an overall culture of sexual harassment and abuse that occurred for decades at the University of Washington.”
“The University of Washington does not tolerate misconduct, and its Code of Ethics and Conduct is in place to provide for a safe and respectful environment for all members of our community, and was written to encourage appropriate and necessary action when problems are identified.
“There are numerous allegations contained in the complaint that are not supported by the facts. The University of Washington takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and makes efforts to address them, while at the same time protecting its players and all others from harm.
“It should go without saying that we have zero tolerance for any form of assault or abusive behavior directed at any staff member or any individual, regardless of whether the alleged conduct is true or not. It is