Most of the USA Curling diversity task force has called on Jeff Plush to be removed as chief executive ©Getty Images

The majority of USA Curling's task force for diversity, equity and inclusion has demanded for under-fire chief executive Jeff Plush - the former commissioner of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - to be removed from office following the publication of the Yates Report.

The group reasoned that if Plush was not removed, the Board of Directors must then resign.

An inquiry, conducted by former United States deputy attorney general Sally Yates, revealed "verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct" became systematic at the NWSL between 2014 and 2017, while Plush spearheaded the organisation.

It claimed Plush, who joined USA Curling in 2020, failed to assist the investigation and did not do anything to prevent Portland Thorns coach Paul Riley from coaching in the NWSL, despite being aware of abuse allegations.

"He cannot be trusted to prioritize (sic) the safety and well-being of athletes in this organization (sic)," a statement from the task force, which was signed by 11 current and former members, said.

"Further, the continued inaction and poor communication by the USA Curling Board of Directors (BOD) places additional strain on the curling community.

"Together, the collective response has eroded the trust of the curling community in the institutions charged to protect us."

The statement added: "We are concerned about the immediate safety of US curlers.

"The BODs' [Board of Dircetors] continued support of Jeff Plush in the wake of such serious allegations demonstrates poor judgment and disregard for the long-term interests of the sport."

The USA Curling Athletes' Advisory Council has also issued a statement, insisting that it meets daily with the Board and "work will continue in order to evaluate our position as things develop".

Thorns player Mana Shim, according to the report, told Plush about Riley's behaviour in 2015, in addition to his retaliation when she asked for him to stop.

Plush is said to have forwarded Shim's email to US Soccer, but the body did not act.

The USA Curling Athletes' Advisory Council has said it is in contact with the Board of Directors ©Getty Images
The USA Curling Athletes' Advisory Council has said it is in contact with the Board of Directors ©Getty Images 

Riley, who was dismissed as coach of North Carolina Courage, denies the allegations.

The group has also called for USA Curling to revisit complaints made during Plush's tenure and for the publication of the 2021 investigation into the chief executive.

USA Curling Board of Directors claimed earlier this month Plush "acted in accordance with prioritising the safety of athletes", but has not made the findings public.

Eight of the 12-person task force signed the statement and three of the signatories were former members.

The four individuals to not have signed it were Plush and members of the USA Curling staff and Board of Directors.

The statement was also published online as a petition and has since accumulated more than 600 signatories.