NWSL cancels weekend games amid sexual misconduct scandal
The National Women's Soccer League has called off this weekend's matches after two male coaches were fired over allegations of sexual harassment.
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has cancelled this weekend’s matches following a tumultuous few days in which two male head coaches were fired over revelations of sexual misconduct.
Washington Spirit, North Carolina Courage coaches sacked
On Wednesday, Washington Spirit head coach Richie Burke's contract was terminated following the conclusion of an NWSL investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.
Burke’s sacking was followed on Thursday by the firing of North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley, after he was accused of sexual coercion by former NWSL players in a report in The Athletic.
NWSL releases statement confirming cancellations
“The National Women’s Soccer League announced today that given the gravity of the events of the last week, matches scheduled for this weekend will not occur,” the NWSL said in a statement on Friday.
NWSL commissioner: "Business as usual isn't our concern right now"
The NWSL’s commissioner, Lisa Baird, said: “This week, and much of this season, has been incredibly traumatic for our players and staff, and I take full responsibility for the role I have played. I am so sorry for the pain so many are feeling.
“Recognizing that trauma, we have decided not to take the field this weekend to give everyone some space to reflect. Business as usual isn’t our concern right now. Our entire league has a great deal of healing to do, and our players deserve so much better.
“We have made this decision in collaboration with our players association and this pause will be the first step as we collectively work to transform the culture of this league, something that is long overdue.”