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Women’s Pro Soccer League A Mess: Commissioner Resigns, Games Called Off

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The National Women’s Soccer League announced that matches scheduled for this weekend will not be played and the league’s commissioner has since resigned.

This follows reports of alleged abuse of players and claims the league failed to address sexual coercion by a male coach, which was first reported by The Athletic and The Washington Post.

League commissioner Lisa Baird’s resignation on Friday follows the firing of two NWSL coaches in the span of a week after both faced abuse allegations, the Post reports. Former Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke was fired Tuesday following a league investigation into allegations of verbal and emotional abuse.

On Thursday, North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley was fired following a distressing account of numerous allegations of sexual coercion published in The Athletic.

Baird had been told of some of the allegations against Riley early this year, but The Athletic reports she declined a request from a player Riley allegedly abused to investigate him.

The NWSL players association said in a statement they called on the league to not hold the games and to give them time to cope with the revelations.

“This was not an easy decision, as there is nothing we love more than playing for our fans,” the players’ union said in a statement Friday. “… We also recognize, however, that mental health struggles are real.” The union said the NWSL had “worked overnight” to postpone the games.

The NWSL said in a statement that Riley had been fired and no games would be played.

FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation announced they were opening investigations into Riley’s abuse on Friday. The Post reports the U.S. Soccer managed the NWSL at the time of the original allegations against Riley.

The Post reports four NWSL teams have seen their male coaches leave after allegations of misconduct this summer.

Check back with OutKick for updates.


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Written by Meg Turner

Meg graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

14 Comments

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  1. “ Mental Health struggles are real” wah wah wah. A growing portion of our younger generations are so weak and soft. Once Naomi Osaka played the mental health card, then Simone Biles, the floodgates were opened. Any adversity and it’s “wah mental health’s real”. I hope these types are never put in a life or death situation where you need to fight to survive bc they’d all wind up dead. In a war situation they ask the enemy for a break from fighting for a “mental health day”. It’s just pathetic. That’s what happens when you’ve been told you’re the greatest and everything is handed to you and mommy and daddy shield you from failure. You end up weak and pathetic. God help us, when China finally pulls the trigger and invades we don’t stand a chance.

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