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Harassment: Cerritos College places several women’s soccer coaches on leave

 

 

Daniel Suarez Jr. and Edgar Mendoza

Cerritos College has placed several women’s soccer coaches on leave following allegations of misconduct which first surfaced on social media, prompting the school to launch an internal investigation over the weekend.

The school was contacted and made aware of these allegations online. Miya Walker, Director of College Relations and Public Affairs, elaborated in a statement to the Long Beach Post. “These allegations are incredibly serious, do not reflect our values and we do not take them lightly,” Walker wrote , “the coaching staff has been placed on administrative leave, pending the investigation.”

On Wednesday, former player Ashley Webb posted dozens of videos on her Instagram account, stating “the following posts are about the sexual harassment I encountered at Cerritos College.”

Webb started playing for Cerritos College in 2014. She alleges that the coaching staff would make inappropriate comments about her appearance, and one coach, later identified as Brent Whitfield, would text Webb so much that she had to ask him to stop, saying that she told her father about Whitfield’s behavior. She said that Whitfield then apologized.

“The first day that I walked across the field I was looked at like I was a piece of meat,” says Webb, “the first comment I get from the coaches was “wow your legs… wow your legs.”

Webb said she took offense to those comments. In a later account, Webb says that other players had asked her if she was going to be an “OGBG” which is a colloquial acronym used to describe players that flirt with the coaches.

“In all my years playing soccer I have never seen that,” says Webb.

In the same story, Webb posted screenshots of dozens of direct messages she received in response to her initial post. She did not reveal the identities, but the messages claim to be other former Cerritos soccer players relating their own experiences with the coaching staff.

As of Saturday, Aug. 15, Webb is still posting screenshots of these direct messages on her story.

The Cerritos College soccer team has won multiple state and national titles, and as such, the college wasted no time in a quick reaction.

The school has wiped the coaches from the staff directory page on the Women’s soccer website as of Friday, Aug. 14. The only remaining coach on the website was the Head Coach Ruben Gonzalez.

Head Coach Gonzalez made headlines in the Los Angeles Times in 2010, where he was suspended from Bishop Amat High School after allegations of ‘inappropriate conduct’ with a female student.

Gonzalez’s attorney at the time, Tomas Requejo, called the allegations made against Gonzalez unsubstantiated. He stated, “we want to quash whatever false allegations are out there.”

The attorney now representing head coach Ruben Gonzales provided a press release stating as follows: “Let it be clear that Head Coach Ruben Gonzalez, himself, has not been accused of any sexual misconduct or harassment by any current or former students. Mr. Gonzalez is mindful of the seriousness of these allegations and has offered his full cooperation.”

The Weisberg Law Group did not answer any further questions when contacted by our staff.

 

 

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