Abuse in Women's Pro Soccer League Was Systemic, Report Says

U.S. Soccer commissioned the investigation after former NWSL players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim came forward with allegations of harassment and sexual coercion dating back a decade

Abuse in Women's Pro Soccer League Was Systemic, Report Says

An independent investigation into the scandals that erupted in the National Women’s Soccer League last season found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the sport, impacting multiple teams, coaches and players, according to a report released Monday.

“Abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women’s soccer, beginning in youth leagues, that normalizes verbally abusive coaching and blurs boundaries between coaches and players,” former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates wrote in her report on the investigation.

U.S. Soccer commissioned the investigation by Yates and the law firm King & Spaulding after former NWSL players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim came forward with allegations of harassment and sexual coercion dating back a decade involving former coach Paul Riley. Their account was published by The Athletic in September 2021.

Riley, who denied the allegations, was quickly fired as head coach of the North Carolina Courage, and NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird stepped down.

But it was clear the problems were widespread. Five of the 10 head coaches in the NWSL last season either were fired or stepped down amid allegations of misconduct.

“The verbal and emotional abuse players describe in the NWSL is not merely ‘tough’ coaching. And the players affected are not shrinking violets. They are among the best athletes in the world,” Yates wrote.

More than 200 people were interviewed by investigators. Some two dozen entities and individuals provided documents. U.S. Soccer also provided documents and the firm reviewed 89,000 deemed likely to be relevant.

U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone called the findings “heartbreaking and deeply troubling.”

“The abuse described is inexcusable and has no place on any playing field, in any training facility or workplace,” she said in a statement. “As the national governing body for our sport, U.S. Soccer is fully committed to doing everything in its power to ensure that all players — at all levels — have a safe and respectful place to learn, grow and compete.”

The report made numerous recommendations to prioritize player health and safety. Among them is the requirement that teams accurately disclose coach misconduct to the league and the soccer federation to ensure coaches aren’t allowed to move between teams. It also calls for meaningful vetting of coaches and timely investigation into allegations of abuse.

The NWSL said it was in the process of reviewing the report. The league and the NWSL Players Association is also conducting an investigation.

“We recognize the anxiety and mental strain that these pending investigations have caused and the trauma that many – including players and staff – are having to relive. We continue to admire their courage in coming forward to share their stories and influence all the changes necessary to keep moving our league forward,” NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “Establishing trust and confidence between the league, its players and other key stakeholders remains a central focus for the NWSL, and we know that we must learn from and take responsibility for the painful lessons of the past in order to move the League into a better future.”

The investigation focused on three former coaches, Riley, Christy Holly of Racing Louisville and Rory Dames of the Chicago Red Stars.

It recounts an April 2021 encounter between Holly and a player, Erin Simon, who now plays in Europe. Holly invited her to watch game film with him and allegedly told her that for every pass she messed up, he was going to touch her. Simon told investigators Holly “pushed his hands down her pants and up her shirt.”

Simon, now with Leicester City, said too many athletes suffer in silence because they are afraid they won’t be heard.

“I know because that is how I felt,” the 28-year-old said in a statement. “Through many difficult days, my faith alone sustained me and kept me going. I want to do everything in my power to ensure that no other player must experience what I did. This report allows our voices to finally be heard and is the first step toward achieving the respectful workplace we all deserve.”

Holly was terminated for cause but Racing Louisville declined to publicly state the reason. Yates’ report noted that Racing did not provide investigators with details about Holly’s employment, citing mutual nondisclosure and non-disparagement clauses.

Farrelly said the harassment she experienced began in 2011 when she was a player with the Philadelphia Independence of the Women’s Professional Soccer league. Riley was her coach.

She told The Athletic the abuse by Riley continued when she was with the Portland Thorns in 2014 and 2015. Shim, a former Thorns player, also said she experienced harassment. Neither woman is playing in the NWSL now.

The Thorns said they investigated Riley in 2015 while he was with the team and reported the findings to the league. They did not renew his contract but did not make the reasons public.

The report said the Thorns were not forthcoming with certain information and they attempted to prevent investigators from using the team’s 2015 report.

“The Portland Thorns interfered with our access to relevant witnesses and raised specious legal arguments in an attempt to impede our use of relevant documents,” Yates wrote.

Riley went on to coach the Western New York Flash, which later moved to North Carolina and was renamed.

When the scandal broke last year, former Thorns forward Alex Morgan, posted to social media: “The league was informed of these allegations multiple times and refused multiple times to investigate the allegations. The league must accept responsibility for a process that failed to protect its own players from this abuse.”

Morgan also said Shim and Farrelly asked the NWSL earlier last year for a new investigation into Riley’s behavior but were rebuffed.

The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association released a statement: “All Players and employees deserve to work in an environment free of discrimination, harassment, and abusive conduct. The USWNTPA commends the courage of the survivors, current Players, and former Players who came forward to speak out against abusive practices that have become far too normalized in the NSWL and women’s soccer generally. At the same time, USWNTPA is dismayed that some NWSL clubs and USSF staff impeded the investigation; those who have not done so should fully cooperate with the ongoing NWSL/NWSLPA investigation immediately.”

U.S. Soccer said its board of directors and a leadership team would immediately begin implementing the report’s recommendations.

“U.S. Soccer and the entire soccer community have to do better, and I have faith that we can use this report and its recommendations as a critical turning point for every organization tasked with ensuring player safety,” Parlow Cone said. “We have significant work to do, and we’re committed to doing that work and leading change across the entire soccer community.”

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Pierce County's coziest restaurant has fire pits, ponds and pavilions, TNT readers say

Nov. 28—At the coziest restaurant in Pierce County, you can make new friends around a fire pit, roasting marshmallows with a s’mores kit, and sip cider under a pavilion by ... Read more »

Championship club Wigan appoint Kolo Toure as new manager on long-term deal

Kolo Toure has been signed as the new manager of Sky Bet Championship club Wigan on a three-and-a-half-year contract. Read more »

Trusts and wills aren’t the same thing. Here’s how they work

Dear Liz: I understand what happens with a living trust when both spouses die at once. But what happens when just one dies? Is the trust tossed out, since the ... Read more »

Trump's special master 'seems to be running out of patience': former federal prosecutor

Donald Trump holds a press conference at Trump Turnberry. (Shutterstock.com) Donald Trump and his legal team hand-picked the special master that they wanted to be appointed to review all of ... Read more »

Qatar loses on World Cup field, makes gains on global stage

Qatar became the first host nation in World Cup history to lose the opening match, and then only the second host to be eliminated from the group stage. AP The gilded stadiums ... Read more »

Pakistan braces for ‘uptick in violence’ after Taliban ends ceasefire with government

Pakistan is preparing a counterterrorism offensive amid an expected massive wave of violence after the country’s Taliban movement called off a shaky six-month ceasefire and ordered its militants to launch ... Read more »

Habitat announces that homeowners are ditching plates for this dining trend in 2023

Fan of bowl dining? Well it turns out you’re not alone as Habitat revealed in its latest trend report that more and more people are ditching plates for bowl dining ... Read more »

Qatar to supply Germany with LNG under long-term gas deal with ConocoPhillips

Qatar has agreed to supply Germany with liquefied natural gas (LNG) under a long-term deal that will go a small way to helping the European country replace piped flows from ... Read more »

Dogecoin Jumps 8% Overnight, Continuing Two-Week Rally

Dogecoin, the world’s most popular meme coin, is still beating the odds in the largely sideways cryptocurrency market. Read more »

A curious kitten has made a miraculous recovery after surviving a 50ft fall from a fourth storey flat

A curious kitten has made a miraculous recovery after surviving a 50 foot fall from a fourth storey flat. Oreo the one-year-old proved that cats really do have nine lives ... Read more »

Dwayne Johnson: what did The Rock say about Henry Cavill returning as Superman in Black Adam movie?

introduced Dwayne Johnson’s titular antihero to the DC Extended Universe, and  – in a surprise for fans who hadn’t seen the leaked on Twitter – brought Superman back into the ... Read more »

Online Safety Bill: plan to make social media sites take down ‘legal but harmful’ content axed

Controversial measures that would have forced to take down material designated “legal but harmful” have been axed from the . Critics of the section in the bill claimed it posed ... Read more »

2 Nasdaq 100 Stocks to Buy Hand Over Fist and 1 to Avoid Like the Plague

What a difference a year makes. Last year, growth stocks were the primary reason the major U.S. stock indexes pushed to all-time highs. In 2022, these same growth stocks are ... Read more »

15 Richest Women in the World, Ranked by Net Worth

15 Richest Women in the World, Ranked by Net Worth Ever wondered who the wealthiest woman in the world is? We often read about Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and others ... Read more »

Downtown Utica is in the midst of a mural renaissance

The sunburst mural at Liberty Bell Park served as the literal and figurative backdrop for Utica’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative campaign. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the recipients of $10 million in ... Read more »

Biden to visit Michigan computer chip factory, push agenda

Biden to visit Michigan computer chip factory, push agenda President Joe Biden's visit to a computer chip factory in Bay City, Michigan, continues his push for his economic agenda President ... Read more »

Parliament repeals Section 377A; endorses amendments protecting marriage definition

SINGAPORE – Parliament on Tuesday voted to repeal a decades-old law criminalising gay sex, while endorsing changes to the Constitution to protect the current definition of marriage from legal challenge. ... Read more »

Insurance body’s proposals for gig workers could result in unequal work injury payouts: Koh Poh Koon

SINGAPORE – Insurers should not be the final arbiter of work injury claim disputes as this does not ensure fairness for gig workers and the platform companies that hire them, ... Read more »

Ferrari team principal Binotto pays price for Red Bull dominance

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto is leaving the Formula One team Mattia Binotto has resigned as team principal of Formula One giants Ferrari, the historic Italian manufacturer announced on Tuesday. “Ferrari ... Read more »

Sky-high diesel prices force Cape Town to stop key bus route

As of Thursday, 1 December 2022, the City of Cape Town is suspending its MyCiTi Airport Service bus route due to diesel prices in South Africa rising by over 50% ... Read more »

Smog engulfs New Delhi as air pollution reaches 'severe' levels in Indian capital

Concentrations of fine particles in the air were recorded at three times above the acceptable limits as pollution has worsened with the arrival of winter. Read more »

Médicos y defensores denuncian un aumento de la desinformación sobre el aborto

English Español La información falsa dirigida a la comunidad latina está creciendo. Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61 hide caption toggle caption Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61 Justo después de que se filtraran noticias en mayo de ... Read more »

Pact: British TV Exports To U.S. Fall By 11% But Overall Distribution Market Returns To Pre-Pandemic Levels

SAS: Rogue Heroes: Has sold to U.S. streamer MGM+ Kudos British TV exports to the U.S. fell by 11% last year, offset by a rise in major European nations, Canada ... Read more »

Who is Cody Gakpo? Netherlands star’s international stats, age, height, club and latest Man Utd transfer news

The Netherlands were predicted to have a positive campaign after failing to qualify in 2018. Louis Van Gaal has a number of stars on his roster with the likes of ... Read more »

Jan. 6 defendant claims permission from Trump

Joshua Doolin is seen in an image captured outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, according to an FBI affidavit. A Polk City man charged in connection with the U.S. ... Read more »

Trail shelters in Pisgah National Forest to be rebuilt; helping hikers, campers, forest

Imagine being miles away from civilization, hiking through the Pisgah National Forest thinking about where you are going to set up camp for the night when suddenly it starts to ... Read more »

Press conference announced by Fruitland PD on the Michael Vaughan case

Press conference announced by Fruitland PD on the Michael Vaughan case Fruitland Police have announced a press conference for this Thursday, December, 1st, with an update on the Michael Vaughan ... Read more »

World Cup Fans Are Refusing to Speak to Israel TV Presenters: 'Not Welcome'

Saudi Arabia fans take pictures during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Poland and Saudi Arabia at Education City Stadium on November 26, 2022 TV reporters ... Read more »

As cold water swimmers warned of dangerous health risk this winter, what are the symptoms of hypothermia?

Cold water swimmers have been alerted to dangerous health risks this winter Parliament Hill Lido in north London has urged visitors to swim safely after at least one person a ... Read more »

Dwanye Johnson: what did The Rock say about Henry Cavill returning as Superman in Black Adam movie?

introduced Dwayne Johnson’s titular antihero to the DC Extended Universe, and  – in a surprise for fans who hadn’t seen the leaked on Twitter – brought Superman back into the ... Read more »

Treasury Yields Slip as Investors Assess Impact of China's Covid Policy

U.S. Treasury yields pulled back on Tuesday as investors closely watched Covid developments in China and digested comments from Federal Reserve officials on monetary policy plans. The yield on the ... Read more »

I was fined £800 for returning my hire car three hours early

avis car hire rental holiday travel issues advice dilemmas – Getty Gill Charlton has been fighting for Telegraph readers and solving their travel problems for more than 30 years, winning ... Read more »

China protests paused as police flood streets and temperatures drop below freezing

Rallies against China's unusually strict anti-COVID measures spread to several cities over the weekend in the biggest show of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades. Read more »

Mauna Loa eruption: Hawaii residents told to prepare for evacuation amid gas and ash warnings

The US Geological Survey has warned people living on the Big Island that an eruption "can be very dynamic, and the location and advance of lava flows can change rapidly". Read more »

A fight over how to enforce immigration laws reaches the Supreme Court

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a Senate subcommittee on Homeland Security, on Capitol Hill on May 04, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images hide caption ... Read more »

The U.S.-Iran World Cup matchup puts a spotlight on Iran's protest movement

A woman at a protest in Qatar holds up a sign bearing the name of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian woman whose death in police custody sparked a nationwide protest ... Read more »

MTA debt reduction plan not enough to avoid ‘fiscal cliff,’ says NY comptroller report

ALBANY — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to pay down debts won’t be enough to avoid massive budget gaps as ridership remains low and federal aid runs out, according to ... Read more »

New York City needs more — and better-treated — nurses

We banged on pans and called them heroes. But what are we doing now to show our appreciation for New York City nurses who put their lives on the line ... Read more »

Don’t punish crypto for the sins of SBF’s FTX

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 08: CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried testifies during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee at Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill December 8, ... Read more »

Reflecting on the Fight for 15, a decade later

When I immigrated to New York more than 30 years ago, I had no idea I’d be at the center of one of the most transformative labor movements in U.S. ... Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network