Fire Steubenville Football Coach Reno Saccoccia
  • Petitioned Shawn Crosier

This petition was delivered to:

Steubenville High School Principal
Shawn Crosier
Steubenville High Athletics Director
Fred Heatherington
Steubenville High Assistant Athletics Director
Lynn Meyer
Steubenville High School Superintendent
Mike McVey

Fire Steubenville Football Coach Reno Saccoccia

    1. Petition by

      Chelsea Paslay

      San Francisco, CA

**Trigger Warning: The below contains a description of a sexual assault.**

By now, most of us know the awful story of the Steubenville "Rape Crew" -- the high school football players who raped an unconscious 16 year old girl at a party while their friends on the football team took pictures and video of the incident. But what I don't know, and will never understand, is why head football Coach Reno Saccoccia still has a job.

The rapists were recently convicted, and evidence from their trial shows that for months before the story broke, Saccoccia knew exactly what his players did and helped protect them. Here's what we know: 

* A text message from Trent Mays, one of the boys who raped Jane Doe, indicates that Saccoccia was aware of the video of the rape.

* Three text messages from the other boy, Malik Richmond, indicate that Saccoccia took steps to keep him out of trouble. The messages read:

- "Nah, IDGAF [I don't give a f***] I got Reno. Nothing’s gonna happen if it goes to court."

- "I got Reno. He took care of it and s*** ain't gonna happen, even if they did take it to court."

- "Like he was joking about it so I’m not worried."

* No players known to have participated in the rape in any way -- sharing the photos and videos, keeping it from authorities, being at the scene without reporting the rape -- were ever punished by Saccoccia or his staff.

* Saccoccia threatened a female reporter with violence, telling her, "You're gonna get yours. And if you don't get yours, somebody close to you will."

Saccocia utterly failed in his duty to train the boys in his care to be responsible men. Instead of protecting the victim of a brutal rape, he chose to protect the rapists from experiencing any consequences. Instead of teaching that rape was wrong, he taught that the only thing that matters is to not get caught.

A lot of adults failed the young men and women of Steubenville High School by blaming and shaming the victim for being taken advantage of, by putting their football season over their humanity, by giving a football coach more power than anyone deserves. It'll take far more than firing Coach Saccoccia to begin truly setting things right in Steubenville. It’ll take things like teaching coaches and athletes how to create a culture that respects women, values consent, and shares the tools to confront sexual violence.

But things can't be set right, either, unless the man most responsible for leading these boys down the right path is held accountable for leading them astray. Call on the Steubenville School District to fire Coach Reno Saccoccia immediately.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 750 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 11 months ago

      Even though they make up half the population, women and girls have endured discrimination in most societies for thousands of years. In the past, women were treated as property of their husbands or fathers - they couldn't own land, they couldn't vote or go to school, and were subject to beatings and abuse and could do nothing about it. Over the last hundred years, much progress has been made to gain equal rights for women around the world, but many still live without the rights to which all people are entitled.

      -- Robert Alan Silverstein

    • cate medcraft AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      sport should have an uplifting role in young peoples lives. The message should be very clear that sport does not put you above the law.

    • Noeul Kang MONTREAL, CANADA
      • about 1 year ago

      if your teams "honor" is more important than ruining a young woman's life, you should quit you old fool.

      • over 1 year ago

      For women, children and men everywhere.

    • Rebecca Barter KENT, WA
      • over 1 year ago

      What is more important? Football scores and game records? Or trying to change the "rape culture" that has been created in our society? This is a key step in communicating to society that rape is NOT acceptable and definitely should not be hidden for the sake of preserving an image.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.