Decades before the Larry Nassar case rocked the Olympic movement, before USA Swimming, USA Water Polo and USA Volleyball became mired in a series of systemic sex abuse scandals, former Olympic swimming champion Nancy Hogshead-Makar pushed the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the nearly 50 national governing bodies under its umbrella to adopt and implement safeguards to protect athletes from sexual and physical abuse.
Hogshead-Makar’s persistent advocacy for athlete safety as well as gender equity issues in sports caught the attention of Capitol Hill, the media and academia.
It also made her unpopular with top executives and board members at the USOPC and Olympic sport NGBs and created discomfort with officials with the Women’s Sports Foundation, a non-profit founded by Billie Jean King that for five decades has been the self-proclaimed leading organization in advocating for girls and women in sports.
The Women’s Sports Foundation in August 2014 offered Hogshead-Makar a two-year contract extension that would pay her $10,000 a month to serve as the organization’s senior director of advocacy, a consulting position.
The offer, however, came with a stipulation: Hogshead-Makar could not publicly discuss or write about sexual abuse or harassment, according to a letter of agreement and other WSF documents obtained by the Southern California News Group.
The WSF was trying to buy Hogshead-Makar’s silence on sexual abuse, Hogshead-Makar said.
“The Women’s Sports Foundation positions themselves as THE voice for women in sports,” Hogshead-Makar said in an email to SCNG. “Yet they decided, ‘No, the WSF doesn’t want to protect girls and women from sexual abuse.’”
Instead, Hogshead-Makar said, the WSF gave in to pressure from the USOPC, formerly known as the USOC, according to Hogshead-Makar and Donna de Varona, WSF co-founder and current USOPC board member. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, then a top USOPC executive and WSF board member, said she could not support Hogshead-Makar’s advocacy on sexual abuse and harassment because of her duties with the USOPC, Hogshead-Makar said.
“Nancy Hogshead’s departure from her roles as a legal advisor and senior director with the Women’s Sports Foundation signaled a fundamental shift in the direction of the organization,” said de Varona, a former WSF president and longtime board member. “Nancy’s absence from the WSF represents a drastic departure from the original intent of the foundation’s legacy to promote and protect girls and women in sport.”
The previously undisclosed, 11-point Aug. 27, 2014 letter of agreement was presented to Hogshead-Makar by then-WSF chief executive Deborah Larkin at a time when the relationship between the WSF and the USOPC was strained over Hogshead-Makar’s criticism of the USOPC, USA Gymnastics and USA Swimming’s handling of sexual abuse cases.
“As a condition of this Letter of Agreement extending the role of the AD on a month to month basis on terms similar to that of the Consultancy Agreement, AD shall not discuss, opine, or participate, either verbally or in writing, as an advocate, expert, or spokesperson regarding sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual allegations, or any other issue related to sexual conduct in any manner, shape or form, whether said participation is done …read more
Source:: Los Angeles Daily News
Celebrities React To Kanye West - Donda (Official Album)
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