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The National Women’s Soccer League has a problem on their hands, prompting one of the league’s biggest names to speak out. Superstar Alex Morgan is accusing the organization of failing to address sexual harassment allegations. Morgan is asking for the league to be “more transparent” after fellow NWSL players Meleana “Mana” Shim and Sinead Farrelly accused their former coach, Paul Riley, of sexual coercion.
Riley was fired by the North Carolina Courage last Thursday, amid “serious allegations of misconduct.”
“It’s bigger than the sport. This is about safety in our own lives … the players deserve that.”
Watch @SavannahGuthrie’s full interview with soccer stars Mana Shim, Sinead Farrelly and Alex Morgan on the sexual abuse allegations rocking the National Women's Soccer League. pic.twitter.com/2RD98k7lWp
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 5, 2021
“I’m here to support Mana and Sinead and to continue to amplify their voices, and just show the systemic failure from the league and how wrong they did in handling Mana’s case and complaint and investigation and where they failed Mana and Sinead, and probably many other women,” Morgan said in an interview with NBC’s Today.
“When I look back, I tried to be as good a friend and teammate as possible to Mana in helping her file a complaint, when at the time there was no anti-harassment policy in place, there was no league HR, there was no anonymous hotline, there was no way to report.
“We’ve now started to put these things in place, by demand of players, not by the league being proactive. Something we ask is for the league to start being proactive, not reactive. We’re asking for transparency.”
Both Shim and Sinead are among a number of current and former players who have accused Riley of misconduct dating as far back as 2010, something that until now, the league has largely ignored.
“Today, we stand with Mana, Sinead, and Kaiya [McCullough] as they continue to tell their stories. We have made the decision to proceed with Wednesday night’s scheduled competition, but our demands will be forthcoming. #NoMoreSilence,” the statement read.
Following the allegations, the NWSL’s players association announced that they will be creating an anonymous hotline for players to report abuse and providing a sports psychologist for any current, former or future player who needs a confidential consultation.