Wiegman and Mead sickened by U.S. women's soccer abuse

By Sports Desk October 06, 2022

Sarina Wiegman and Beth Mead warned the abuse suffered by professional women footballers is not just restricted to the United States.

U.S. Soccer on Monday released the findings of the year-long investigation, led by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, after over 200 interviews had taken place.

The report stated that over the nearly 10-year history of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), "numerous coaches have verbally or emotionally abused players".

It also found that "several are alleged to have committed serious sexual misconduct during and/or before their time in the League".

England, who won the women's Euros earlier this year, face the USA in a friendly at Wembley Stadium on Friday.

At a press conference ahead of the match, Wiegman said: "My first reaction is that it’s horrible, unacceptable that it's still happening.

"I feel very, very sorry for all the victims and it should stop immediately, I think we all agree on that.

"I think it's a worldwide problem still and it’s just really the time now to all step up and stop these things. Whatever abuse it is, it's horrible and unacceptable."

Mead echoed her manager's sentiment, insisting governing bodies must do more.

"When I found out I was quite sickened by the situation. It's a worldwide problem but women need to be taken seriously a lot more," Mead said.

"I'm very proud of the victims that stood up and said it. People need to start doing better, the US governing body needs to do better, worldwide we need to do better."

Asked if the England team were planning a show of solidarity with their opposition on Friday, Mead added: "We're in contact with the American team and some of the players and we're working on something to show our support for them.

"Nothing's been finalised yet, but we will be doing something."

Mead and her England team-mates have made strides to push on the women's game in the country, with their European glory marking the nation's first major success since the men's team won the 1966 World Cup.

"I would say so, we feel like we've got a good platform to make a difference," Mead, who scored 20 goals and assisted 17 in 19 matches for England in the 2021–22 season, replied when asked if the team felt empowered to make their voices heard.

"We wrote the open letter about P.E. in schools for girls and we want to use our platform for the greater good of the women's game and women's sport in general. It's something we're more confident about but we also have the full support of the FA and everyone involved that helps a lot."

Mead added it was "about time" for celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Lionesses, which will also take place at Wembley on Friday.

"We know as players we wouldn’t be here today without the women that have come before us," she said.

"[They're] incredible women. It's nice that we can celebrate what they've done just as much as we've done. It's nice that they've got a voice now."

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