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Chelsea FC faces sexual assault investigation

by Alyssa Daley - Sports Editor
Tue, Dec 6th 2016 11:45 pm
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 Just this past week, former Chelsea Football Club player Gary Johnson came forward saying that the league paid him 50,000 euros to stay silent about former Chelsea FC scout Eddie Heath. Heath has been at the center of the English football sex abuse scandal. Johnson revealed that Heath began abusing him sexually when he was just 13 years old, according to CNN.

Heath is no longer alive to feel the brunt of the investigation that is now happening around the team which is currently at the top of the English's soccer Premier League. All the team has released on the matter so far regarding the investigation is that it is looking into someone who worked for the team during the 70s and has since passed away. Johnson played for the team in the 80s. Chelsea representatives have said no more information will be released while the investigation is ongoing, according to CNN.

Since Johnson has come forward, there is definitely reason to believe in the possibility of other victims paid to stay silent. According to CNN, there are 17 police forces across England, Scotland and Wales conducting their own investigations into the matter. There has even been a hotline established to help victims of sexual assault. The line has received about 860 calls in its first week. 

Johnson was a part of Chelsea FC's first team from 1978-81 and said he was abused by Heath for three to four years. Johnson also said there were other boys involved and expected them to come forward, according to CNN.

The fact that 20 players have already come forward pushing the Professional Footballers Association to begin their investigation is terrifying, yet inspiring, as these victims finally work towards seeking justice and preventing others from experiencing anything like they had.

It is horrible to think about how players we have watched growing up and their predecessors either were or maybe were sexually assaulted by some of the people they trusted. 

They have to go onto the field and drop all thoughts unrelated to the game in order to perform with the highest intensity and skill. To expect that from a player of any sport and yet sexually abuse them which undoubtedly has detrimental effects is inhumane. No one should have to go through something like these professional soccer players did and yet there is no reason not to question other teams and other sports all together.

This is not the first time something of this caliber has been discovered in the sports world — and it certainly won't be the last. Sexual assault, whether it be at the hands of the players directed towards other people or at the hands of coaching and recruiting staff directed towards the players, is a constant association, one that unfortunately holds true. 

However, like most things relating to large money-making organizations, players are normally outed before the teams' higher ups. Players face the reality of having no one to stick up for them if they say something, especially in professional sports. 

It's not only the sports world that closets sexual assault victims or where the victims' are shamed and blamed for the situation as opposed to the actual perpetrator. Our society has a way of trying to avoid talking about the hard stuff: domestic violence, sexual assault, drug use, alcoholism, etcetera and that needs to stop. The only way these detrimental acts and habits will stop is if there is active discussion and brainstorming of cause and solution. 

Hopefully in this specific situation, the PFA deals with this situation to get justice for the players who suffered at the hands of the people who were supposed to be the figures they looked up to and trusted.

 

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