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Paul Riley, the former coach of the NC Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), was officially banned from the league for life Monday. While the Liverpool native explained to Raleigh’s WRAL that he plans to “fight a lot of things,” getting his ban lifted and returning to the women’s soccer league isn’t one of them.
Riley tore into the NWSL for being political, woke and filled with cancel culture.
“We have a lot of plans ahead to fight a lot of things,” Riley said in a text message Tuesday to WRAL News. “Absolutely never had any intention of coaching in NWSL again. The political, woke, cancel culture of the league says it all.”
Riley was one of four former NWSL coaches banned from the league Monday. In a 128-page investigative report released by the league and its players’ association, Riley was accused of alleged harassment and sexual misconduct dating back to his days coaching in Portland, Oregon in 2015. Riley became the Courage coach when the team moved to North Carolina in 2017.
Two former Portland players called him “a predator.” Other players detailed “systemic abuse” and alleged sexual coercion by Riley, who one player said created a “culture of fear.”
U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan spoke out against Riley when allegations first came to light claiming the NWSL had major sexual harassment problems.
Riley was also accused of making comments about his player’s weight and Courage player Kaleigh Kurtz alleged sexual harassment by Riley in the report. He was fired by the Courage on Sept. 20, 2021.
The 59-year-old had his coaching license suspended by the U.S. Soccer Federation the following month. The concurrent weekend of his license being suspended, all NWSL games were canceled and the league commissioner resigned.
The Courage was fined $100,000 by the league in the process.