Congressman Honda Considering Exploring “Formal Action” on Sexual Abuse in Swimming

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 6

September 28th, 2012 National, News

Author Irv Muchnick, the developer of the website Concussion Inc., is a major voice on controversy in youth sports (before sexual abuse, consussions were a big issue – and Muchnick wrote an entire series about concussions in football). His latest cause has been tackling the sexual abuses that have plagued the sport of swimming for decades, but have only been pushed to the forefront in the last few years.

Muchnick has been doing some legwork by contacting different politicians to see if they have heard anything about becoming involved in the case, and today he reports that at least one is looking into launching a government investigation.

Muchnik reached out to Congressman Mike Honda, a Democrat representing California’s 15th congressional distance, which includes the swimming hotbeds of Silicon Valley and San Jose. In an email to Muchnick (which we have been able to confirm as true), Honda’s senior aide Ashley Roybal-Reid said that “Congressman Honda has begun looking into what formal action our office can take to address this problem, including, but not limited to, Congressional hearings.”

Roybal-Reid said that while they were still considering what exactly their action would be, that Congressman Honda was “very concerned about the issue” after being contacted by a group of his constituents.

A USA Swimming spokesperson says that they have “heard nothing of the sort.”

Honda has a history of taking up social causes, and has been a spearhead of the so-called. anti-bullying caucus in congress.

Congressional investigations into matters of sport is not without precedent. Recent cases that have gone before congressional hearings include Roger Clemens’ steroids case, and very nearly the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty” scandal.

Though USA Swimming receives no direct funding from the federal government, similarly to Major League Baseball and the NFL, the justification for these investigations typically has to do with the fact that most major sporting infrastructures are government-condoned monopolies, meaning that there’s no competitive marketplace to allow for market regulation. Sports are not the only private industry that faces this sort of scrutiny.

These cases are often criticized as frivolous and a waste of Congress’ time and money, though it would seem in a situation regarding sexual abuse and children, those same criticisms would not be as publicly pronounced.

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6 Comments on "Congressman Honda Considering Exploring “Formal Action” on Sexual Abuse in Swimming"

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USA Swimming comes under the USOC which does not receive federal money, but is an extension of US law (US Code Title 36) so I believe a congressional investigation is not only well within congressional oversight, it is badly needed. This problem is obviously not limited to one or two instances, but seems to be a widespread problem. I am sad to say that I am no longer a member or participant in this organization. There really needs to be some house cleaning.

What about high schools? This is a problem that goes well beyond swim clubs under the umbrella of USA Swimming.

If congressional hearings happen, it will be painful for the sport but ultimately good. Under the entrenched corrupt leadership of USA Swimming and its current governance, intervention from congress might be the only way to get rid of the bad guys and change the politics of the sport for the better.

The Scalpel

How much cha-ching has congressman received for
Bob Allard. Inquiring minds want to know. Zzzzzzz

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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