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HomeBusinessthePodcast: The long journey to sports accountability — whistleblower reflects on jailing of ex-national team coach

thePodcast: The long journey to sports accountability — whistleblower reflects on jailing of ex-national team coach

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For the week of Nov. 6, 2021:

The biggest story in Canadian soccer last week was not the men’s national team preparing for the World Cup in Qatar. It was the 16-month jail sentence in North Vancouver Provincial Court to former women’s national junior team coach Bob Birarda. 

Birarda, who also coached the Whitecaps women’s team, pleaded guilty last February to sexually assaulting four players between 1988 and 2008.

Birarda was charged nearly two years after former Whitecap Ciara McCormack blew the whistle in a February 2019 blog post about his return to coaching girls soccer. 

“The positive is that the truth came out, and that he suffered consequences,” thePodcast guest McCormack told host Bob Mackin. “At the end of the day, 16 months for all the carnage he caused? I don’t think there’s ever going to be a sentence that’ll truly give justice and be proper punishment for what was taken away from people.”

The sentence comes amid a watershed year in Canadian sport activism, as athletes across winter and summer sports are demanding an end to abuse and corruption. McCormack got the ball rolling almost four years ago. 

“It was a massive, collective effort to just shift the narrative that it’s not okay to stay silent, it’s not okay to put success in sports ahead of taking care of people and doing the right thing,” she said.

On this edition, hear the full interview with McCormack. Plus Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest news headlines and a commentary on the end of John Horgan’s premiership. 

CLICK BELOW to listen or go to TuneIn or Apple Podcasts.

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thePodcast: The long journey to sports accountability -- whistleblower reflects on jailing of ex-national team coach
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