Former U.S. snowboarders sue coaches for abuse
The GIST: Another day, another story highlighting a much-needed reckoning across international sporting organizations. On Thursday, three former U.S. snowboarders sued their former coach, Peter Foley, for sexual abuse and sex trafficking, along with U.S. Ski & Snowboard (USSS) and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) for covering up those abuses.
The details: Olympic bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher, 2010 Olympian Callan Chythlook-Sifsof and Erin O’Malley filed the lawsuit, claiming that Foley used his position to “coerce sexual acts through force, manipulation, emotional abuse, intimidation and retaliation.”
- The snowboarders also accuse USSS and the USOPC of failing to act when abuse allegations were initially reported. Because of course.
The background: The news comes nearly a year after Chythlook-Sifsof bravely came forward with allegations against Foley via Instagram. USSS placed him on a leave of absence before firing him in March 2022, ending his 28-year tenure at the helm of the program.
Zooming out: From Hockey Canada to USA Gymnastics, sporting organizations letting rampant abuse go unchecked (and even enabling it) is sadly all too familiar. Power imbalances, inadequate oversight, a lack of accountability — the systemic problems are apparent. But there is no excuse; enough is enough.