Commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League, Lisa Baird, resigned hours after the league had called off all of the weekend’s games. The games were canceled due to the National Women’s Soccer League’s struggles with multiple reports of alleged abuse of players and claims that the league failed to address the allegation of sexual coercion by a male coach.
The league in a statement released that it had “received and accepted Lisa Baird’s resignation as its commissioner.” Lisa Baird’s resignation occurred after 2 National Women’s Soccer League coaches had been fired within a week when both coaches faced abuse allegations.
North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley was fired after a series of multiple allegations of sexual coercion was published in the Athletic and former Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke was fired following a league investigation into allegations of verbal and emotional abuse. Baird had allegedly been told of some of the allegations against North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley but had declined the request of a player Riley allegedly abused to investigate him.
This series of alleged abuse and the failure of the league to do anything against this abuse led to an outcry of anger from the National Women’s Soccer League. Thus the National Women’s Soccer League players asked the league to not hold games and to let them cope with the revelations of the abuse [The Athletic].
The players union stated “This was not an easy decision, as there is nothing we love more than playing four our fans, We also recognize, however, that the mental health struggles are real.” Alex Morgan of the Orlando Pride had this to say “ I feel like the league has to have a complete rebuild, I think they need to listen to their players, admit fault, apologize and be truthful and transparent for the first time.”
Morgan has been deeply critical of the NWSL and the Commissioner in their failure to protect the females. On Friday, FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation announced that they were opening investigations into Riley’s abuse [Washington Post].
ARTICLE: AANAND MAHATO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC
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