December 17, 2018 (NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Following new details to allegations that State Rep. David Byrd sexually abused high school girls basketball players whom he coached, TNDP Chair Mary Mancini released the following statement:
“Speaker Casada should send a clear message that predatory sexual abuse will not be tolerated in the Tennessee General Assembly by demanding that David Byrd resign from his position as State Representative.
“In addition to allegations of sexual abuse by three former players, we learned in a report today that while he was a coach, State Rep. David Byrd directly tried to trade playing time for sexual favors from a 16-year old girls basketball player. This allegation tells you everything you need to know about David Byrd’s character and his moral fitness to serve.
“Despite making a blind vow to protect Republican incumbents and financially supporting Byrd’s 2018 campaign, Speaker Casada has a chance to use his new position to set a precedent in Tennessee politics where women are believed and supported. As the new leader of Tennessee House, continuing to turn a blind eye to serial sexual abuse would be an act of moral cowardice by Speaker Casada. It’s simply a matter of right or wrong. We implore Speaker Casada to do what he knows is right.”
- Mother Jones (12/17/2018): “Mother Jones also spoke with a local man who said his daughter played on the basketball team when Byrd was the coach. She told her father that she felt she deserved more playing time, and he told her to take it up with Byrd. Months later, she told her mother that she had gone to Byrd, who said if she wanted more court time, she would have to give him something in return.”
- WSMV (3/27/2018): 3 former players accuse Rep. David Byrd of sexual misconduct while they were teens