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SOCCER

Another scandal emerges in the National Women’s Soccer League

An independent investigation revealed that for years players from the NWSL were subjected to pervasive, systematic and sexual abuse and harassment.

Update:
Another scandal emerges in the National Women’s Soccer League

Another scandal has emerged in the National Women’s Soccer League after an independent investigation revealed how players were subjected to pervasive, systematic and sexual abuse and harassment. This has been going on for years and the NWSL and US Soccer didn’t do anything to put an end to this treatment against the players at the top level.

The former acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and the law firm King & Spalding conducted the year-long report which was released on Monday by the United States Soccer Federation. Coaches and executives from different franchise from the National Women’s Soccer League were involved in the sexual and verbal abuse.

Official report

Our investigation has revealed a league in which abuse and misconduct -- verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct -- had become systemic, spanning multiple teams, coaches, and victims,” the report read. “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.”

In one of the cases revealed in this report it involves Christy Holly, who was managing Racing Louisville at the time, told a player, who was identified as Erin Simon, that he would touch her for every bad pass she made. Per report, Holly took it further and put his hand down her pants and up her shirt. Once Racing Louisville found out of this incident, they fired Christy Holly back in August 2021 but at the time, they didn’t disclose that decision, until now.

Statement from the NWSL

The NWSL, alongside the NWSLPA, continue to encourage current and former players and staff with information relating to discrimination, harassment, abuse, retaliation or bullying towards players in the league, to contact NWSL_Investigation@cov.com, or to reach out to the NWSL or NWSLPA directly, or through any other club and league reporting channels,” read part of the statement.

When the report came out, the US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone confirmed that there will be changes to prevent this misconducts from happening. From now on, every member from US Soccer will undergo a standard background check and they will create a participant safety task force that will be led by athletes.

“I am heartbroken by the contents of the report, which make clear that systemic changes are needed at every level of our game,” Parlow Cone said in a release. “The abuse described in the report is entirely inexcusable and has no place in soccer, on or off the field. I am squarely focused on the changes we will make to address the report’s findings and make soccer safer for everyone.

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