Statement from NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hypocrisy and misogyny have long been hallmarks of the response from professional sports organizations when it comes to sexual assault committed by their players. As the just released investigation by the USA Today Network documents, the NCAA is a repeat offender when it comes to putting profits over people. They have continued to let college athletes charged with assault off the hook, with at least 28 current and former athletes allowed to stay in the NCAA despite being disciplined or even convicted for a sexual offense at another college.
Like the NFL—or, for that matter, Hollywood, Wall Street or anywhere #MeToo truths are being told, the NCAA must be held accountable for excusing, enabling and perpetuating a culture of sexual misconduct and victim-blaming. NOW is working to stop U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from tilting the scales of justice even farther away from survivors and allowing athletes convicted of violent sex crimes to stay in multi-million dollar sports programs.
No one is above the law, and no institution is above accountability for patterns of criminal behavior and violence against women. The NCAA must institute rigorous and enforceable codes of conduct that prevent teams from monetizing sexual abuse. This predator pipeline must come to an end. Enough is enough.
Kimberly Hayes, Press Secretary, email@example.com, 202-570-4745
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