Maybe we should take her wise words up a notch: boys don’t get in trouble for throwing stones until someone exposes just how many people they’ve hit.
Otherwise, the system remains the same, a system like so many others that lets these things happen and finds ways to justify working around them. Everyone is shocked. Everyone is appalled. Everyone feels bad for the victim(s). But no one does anything beyond changing the playing field and moving the players.
While Riley has stated that most of the allegations are “completely untrue,” he admitted that “there’s a chance I’ve said something along the way that offended someone.” He continued, “I do not belittle my players, comment on their weight, or discuss their personal relationships.”
The call to protect players, to protect women and girls, cannot just happen among colleagues and peers and it has to be more than words. The structures that govern our world, perhaps especially our working world (and professional athletes are, indeed, workers) — from sporting federations to corporations, at institutions of higher education and on shop floors — need to strike it all down and rebuild in a way that ensures those in charge are actually practicing protection for those on the field.
But according to the tweets, Morgan’s public airing of complaints date back to 2015, when the league launched an investigation into Riley based on multiple complaints from players, blowing any claim of swift action to smithereens.
To be clear, the allegations that the NWSL described as “new” were at the very least familiar, according to The Athletic, with claims against Riley getting added to the pile of awful that had sat there, ignored, for a decade or more.
Perhaps the hardest part of continuing to see brave women step forward against Nassar, Riley and others is knowing that people stop creating harm only when they can no longer get away with it. Until then, predators will continue to do what they do because they can.