February 23, 2022 by Ultiworld in Livewire with 0 comments
The 22 players who tried out and have been offered roster spots on the Premier Ultimate League’s 2022 Milwaukee Monarchs team — the entire playing roster aside from the three players who are also managing directors of the Monarchs organization — have created and approved this statement in response to Monarchs leadership and the Premier Ultimate League. They shared it with Ultiworld via email this week.
See Ultiworld’s story here, and read the players’ statement below:
Milwaukee Monarchs Player Statement
This statement has been written and crafted by the potential roster of the 2022 Milwaukee Monarchs. While we do not officially represent either the Premier Ultimate League (PUL) or the Milwaukee Monarchs, this statement is meant to express our hopes and beliefs of what this team and its members embody.
First and foremost, we, the players, do not stand for sexual assault in any form. We believe survivors, and want to do everything we can to support them and to guarantee the safety of every player to the best of our ability.
We trust that the PUL and the Monarchs leadership do not condone sexual assault, either. However, we recognize that the two have created environments that have fostered and caused harm in this situation. We have asked both organizations to take public accountability for their actions in the ways listed below, and we believe that their recent joint statement is just the beginning of the work that needs to continue to be done.
- Acknowledge that leadership failed to create a survivor-centered process when attempting to re-introduce a sexual assailant into the community, which included making attempts at “restorative justice” without consulting any official restorative justice practices or experts, and ultimately centering the assailant.
- Acknowledge that leadership failed to recognize the risk of reputational and interpersonal harm to past, present, and future Monarchs through their actions as representatives of the organization.
- Acknowledge that the League failed to support the Monarchs leadership when they asked for help in arbitrating accusations of sexual assault against a Monarchs/PUL player in 2021.
- Acknowledge that the League failed to implement league-wide policies and guidelines for handling cases of sexual assualt prior to or in response to the 2021 case.
As players, we very much want to participate in the 2022 season, but we also recognize that participating in this league with pride, excitement, and comfort/safety will require change. We want to be excited to play professional ultimate and grow ultimate for women and non-binary players in Wisconsin and nationwide. But these issues are bigger than ultimate. We are asking for change in order for us to reclaim our excitement and therefore feel comfortable moving forward with our season.
We are actively working with the current Monarchs leadership and the PUL to bring about change in several ways, which include:
- Diversifying the Monarchs leadership group by shifting decision-making power to an expanded group of individuals and disseminating roles and responsibilities amongst more team members.
- Asking the PUL to take accountability for their actions and failures (in the ways listed above), and to publicly outline how they will change the league to prevent future conflicts and guide teams and the League toward solutions.
- Developing ways to rebuild trust both within the Monarchs roster, and with the larger frisbee community and our Milwaukee community partners.
- Continuing to seek transparency from both organizations with respect to privacy rights and wishes of survivors.
We are a team made up of survivors of sexual assault, victims of sexual assault, and advocates against sexual assault who recognize and are deeply saddened by the harm that the PUL and Monarchs organizations have caused in this situation.
We recognize that the PUL and the Monarchs are organizations run by individual people, working with limited resources, susceptible to mistakes, and deserving of forgiveness, grace, and patience. At the same time, we will not waver in asking for accountability.
The PUL and the Milwaukee Monarchs are striving for the same goal: to uplift the sport of ultimate and provide an opportunity for women and non-binary athletes to compete professionally. We believe in this team and this league, and want it to be all that we know it can be.