NWSL accepts demands from players union after sexual misconduct scandal


Friday’s announcement follows acting NWSL CEO Marla Messing who pledged the league to respond to eight specific requests made by players regarding the investigation of abuse allegations made by former players Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly.

The NWSL accepted a joint investigation overseen by two representatives from the players’ union, one from the league, one representative from the team and a jointly selected neutral party, the the union said in a statement.

“Today is a major milestone in protecting player safety, but it’s just the start,” the union said.

The committee will review instances of improper conduct and aim to identify them in the system.

In addition to demanding an investigation, the players’ association had also asked that union representatives be involved in the selection of the next commissioner.

“Each of these demands is seen by the players as one more step towards resuming our league,” union president Tori Huster, who plays for the Washington Spirit, said on Friday.

The NWSL issued a statement on Friday, noting: “As a league, we are committed to making the systemic and cultural changes necessary to create a safe environment for our players and staff, and today’s agreement to proceed. to a joint investigation is an important next step in this process. “

Previously, the league and the union had announced separate inquiries.

Allegations of sexual abuse surfaced in a Athletic investigation report. Citing former and current players, The Athletic reported that former Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley used his influence and power to sexually harass players.

In The Athletic report, Farrelly described how a married Riley forced her into his hotel room to have sex. Another reported incident describes that Riley forced Farrelly and his teammate Shim back to his apartment and pressured the two to kiss.

The Athletic asked Riley for comment on his alleged misconduct, to which he replied that the former players’ claims were “completely untrue”. According to The Athletic, Riley told them in an email, “I have never had sex or made sexual advances towards these players.”

Riley was fired by North Carolina Courage earlier this month. In the Athletic report, Riley denied the charges. CNN was unable to reach Riley for comment.

Then commissioner Lisa Baird resigned and the league postponed games scheduled for this weekend.

US Soccer and FIFA, the world’s governing body for football, have announced their own investigations into the league.

CNN’s David Close, Kevin Dotson and Jacob Lev contributed to this report.


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