If we truly want to address sexual abuse and harassment in sports we need to call it what it is, an abuse of power between the coach and the athlete that occurs at all ages. We are misled if educational materials imply something else.
Summer is almost over for most schools around the country with school sports and open amateur sports programs beginning across the United States. New sports season can often mean new coaches, supporting staff and new teammates.
Rick has been a free man and participating in life like the rest of us for the past 30 years without any consequence for his actions of sexually abusing this minor swimmer at the time in question. Why didn't something happen sooner?
More attention to the subject and types of sexual abuse in sports needs to be committed to addressing this topic and to developing an infrastructure that supports the needs of the athletes for a safe and positive environment in sports.
We cannot count on an athlete being able to confront this powerful person or to even speak to his or her parents about a coach's behavior when they are fearful of the parent not believing them or the coach withdrawing playing time, affection or instruction.
Having been an Olympic swimmer who endured sexual abuse during the entire course of my 10-year career, with no resources available to help me, I decided I would found an independent organization to keep athletes safe.