Kuster-Backed Legislation to Protect Young Athletes Passes House, Goes to President’s Desk
**Legislation builds upon Rep. Kuster’s Success in Securing Additional Funding for the Center for SafeSport**
Washington, DC, October 1, 2020
Tags: Ending Sexual Violence
Today, the House of Representatives passed the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act, which Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) helped introduce. This legislation is targeted to help eliminate sexual violence and harassment in athletics. It will create a Congressional commission to assess how the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and national governing bodies can best protect athletes, increase athlete representation on governing boards within USOPC, protect survivors from retaliation, and fund the Center for SafeSport at $20 million per year.
“Our young athletes are some of the very best our country has to offer, and coming from a family deeply involved in winter Olympic sports, their safety is very personal to me," said Kuster. "These athletes and their families put their complete trust in USOPC and its personnel, and tragically that trust has sometimes been violated. With passage of this legislation, Congress is making clear that abuse of athletes will not be tolerated nor swept under the rug. I’m committed to working with the countless members of the Olympic community who have dedicated themselves to keeping our athletes safe as we look ahead to the games in 2021. As these young people represent our nation in competition around the globe, we owe it to them to have their backs and protect them from violence and harassment."
In the aftermath the arrest and investigation of USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, Congress created the Center for SafeSport in 2017. The center is tasked with both investigating allegations brought forth by athletes and Olympic personnel as well as proactively conducting education and outreach efforts to prevent this abuse from continuing to occur. In 2018, Rep. Kuster joined with then-Rep. Ted Poe to introduce bipartisan legislation, the Keep Young Athletes Safe Act, which helped secure an additional $2.5 million per year to support SafeSport’s education and prevention work. Rep. Kuster is also a founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence.