Saturday, May 31, 2014

19-victims of coaching sexual abuse urging swim community to sign a petition to STOP Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame!

Chuck Wielgus had a chance to apologize to molestations victims on national television but adamantly refused.

The show was a news documentary on ABC called 20/20. I helped put that show on the air and was later thanked by the producer who won an award for it. Watch it here and watch Wielgus' arrogant attitude: [Link]

One has to ask why did he not apologize?

A swimmer I befriended and I will not name this person sent an email directly to Wielgus complaining of a traumatic abuse event and practically demanded thatUSA Swimming investigate. Read his response in the email to a Mr. C. Benton - It's pathetic and his actions were a deliberate purposeful act...

Only now has he admitted "he made mistakes" (he never mentioned that several victims from the hands of just one coach have suffered as a result of the Wielgus mistakes nor has he reached out to the victims). Subsequently he has proffered an anemic apology in writing only after a grassroots rose up to have him banned from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

But even after this apology one has to ask him if he should also apologize for hiring lobbyists for killing California Senate Bill 131 that would have allowed victims molestations victims at the hands of Catholic Priests and USA Swimming coaches the right to sue. The purpose of the bill:

"... This legislation would provide a one-year revival window from 2014-14 for certain victims who were previously barred [due to a legislative error] the right to seek justice for the abuse they suffered as children. ..."

Now, I am making a new plea, not to a television producer but to you the swimming public, please sign this petition demanding that Chuck Wielgus have his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame revoked immediately.

I am begging every international swimmer, every parent with a child involved in this sport, to send a message to the International Swimming Hall of Fame that those who protect pedophiles or hire lobbyists to kill bills before congress and local state governments to prevent lawsuits against pedophiles be banned from our Hall of Fame.

Here are some facts:

Sign the petition here:  [Sign this petition NOW - Like right now!]

"... We are 19 victims of coaching sexual abuse and 29 stalwarts of the swimming community that have protested Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame for his failure to protect swimmers from sexual abuse. See the materials submitted here: [Link]

Chuck Wielgus has been the Executive Director of USA Swimming for 17 years, earning $908,432.00 in 2012, yet he has not shown leadership in combating sexual abuse in the sport of swimming for most of that time. As of May 1, 2014, more than 100 USA Swimming coaches have been banned for life, making this one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in the US Olympics sports world. But Wielgus isn’t inspiring a protest merely because he was at the helm. Instead, the protest is about Wielgus’ failure to protect swimmers from coaches with well-known, long histories of sexual abuse. Not until Wielgus was pressured by the United States Congress, by heart-breaking media stories on the unrelenting parade of victims, by lawsuits, and by new United States Olympic Committee (USOC) rules, did USA Swimming start to protect victims. It does not take leadership to move an organization under that type of scrutiny; it requires leadership to avoid it.

The Swimming Hall of Fame had indicated that their board didn’t have materials to consider the issue. The link above includes the meticulously-prepared materials in support of the board's decision to rescind.

To support us, we are asking for your signature to send a message to the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) to rescind Chuck Wielgus’ induction into the upcoming June 13, 2014 induction to its Hall of Fame. In addition, please share this petition with your friends and teammates. Tweet: #funnestsport ..."

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