U.S. Center for Safesport: ‘Culture Shift’ Is Taking Place

U.S. Center for Safesport: ‘Culture Shift’ Is Taking Place

During its seventh year of operation, the U.S. Center of Safesport announced recently that it has:

Reports continue their year-over-year increase, rising by more than 30% from 2022 to 2023. The Center considers this “a sign that people better understand red-flag behavior and are speaking up when they know or even suspect that abuse or misconduct is occurring.”

“As a result of our work, a culture shift in sport is taking root,” Ju’Riese Colón, CEO, U.S. Center for SafeSport said. “Athletes are rejecting the notion that sexual harassment is inevitable, coaches aren’t turning a blind eye to inappropriate behavior, and parents aren’t tolerating abusive practices. Together, we are establishing a culture where people are compelled to throw open the curtains on abuse rather than sweep it under the rug.”

The Center’s 2023 Annual Report provides anoverview of operations, milestones, and data from last year. Highlights include:

As reports continue to rise, the Center’s funding remains “static.” The Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, & Amateur Athletes Act of 2020, which mandates a $20 million annual payment by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to fund the Center’s operations, “does not account for rising inflation, an exponential increase in reports, nor the potential addition of new sports and millions of new athletes to the Olympic & Paralympic Movement.”

Colón raised the need for additional funds when she testified before hearings of Subcommittees in both the House of Representatives and Senate in March of 2024. Other witnesses and legislators present at the hearings widely acknowledged that the Center requires additional resources.

“The safety of our nation’s athletes is too important to shortchange,” said Colón. “Regardless of whether additional funding continues to come through the USOPC as required by federal law, or directly from federal appropriations, Congressional action is needed to maintain existing funding and secure $10 million more annually to fully fund the execution of the Center’s mission.”