ICYMI - Kuster-Backed Legislation to Protect Young Athletes Signed Into Law
**Legislation builds upon Rep. Kuster’s Success in Securing Additional Funding for the Center for SafeSport**
Washington, November 12, 2020
Tags: Ending Sexual Violence
On Friday, October 30, President Trump signed the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act into law. The legislation, which Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) helped introduce, 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.
“Young athletes are truly a gift to this nation, and it is critical that we take responsibility for their safety and wellbeing,” said Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “While this legislation cannot eliminate the pain too many athletes and their families have already tragically experienced, it will help prevent future abuse, provide survivors with critical support, and stop this abhorrent behavior from being swept under the rug. I’m thrilled this measure has become law, and I look forward to my continued work with my colleagues and members of the Olympic community to ensure our nation’s athletes are safe from violence and harassment.”
“As a past college level athlete and current sports leader who has been involved with the Olympic community for most of my life, I applaud the passage of the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act,” said Max Cobb, Chief Executive of U.S. Biathlon and National Governing Bodies Council representative. “This is a timely opportunity to enact these important reforms. My counterparts and I are excited to work with Congress to help guarantee perpetrators of sexual violence are held accountable and that athlete safety and security always comes first.”
In the aftermath of 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.