The federation that runs Olympic badminton in the United States reached a $1 million settlement with an employee who contended he was terminated for going against leadership’s wishes and filing a complaint about sex-abuse allegations to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
The agreement to pay former chief of staff Alistair Casey was signed by USA Badminton CEO Linda French and Casey in January. The Associated Press received a copy of the agreement, which was supposed to have been confidential but was first reported on by ESPN.
The case stemmed from a then-9-year-old allegation about a coach who had sex with a teenage player. Higher-ups at USA Badminton were debating whether to report to the SafeSport Center or go to police. Casey took the case to the center and later got fired “due to required cuts in USAB’s operating budget for the upcoming years,” according to an email he received informing him of his termination.
“I knew it was going to be the end of my job,” Casey told the Los Angeles Times, which reported on the story in 2021. “But there was no way I could keep quiet about this.”
The discussions that led to his firing painted a picture of confusion and distrust inside USA Badminton about whether law enforcement or the SafeSport Center was better equipped to handle the allegations.
USA Badminton has been under scrutiny from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which put the federation on probation and forced it to reorganize to improve its policies about reporting sex-abuse allegations.
The settlement called for the agreement to be “strictly confidential” and for all questions about the arrangement to be answered with the statement “this matter has been resolved.”
The attorney who represented USA Badminton in this case, Jon Little, said he could not comment about the settlement.
The $1 million settlement was covered by an insurance policy taken out by USA Badminton, which listed $653,000 in revenue for 2021, and paid out a total of $253,000 in salaries.
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