The National Women’s Soccer League NWSL lost their coach Paul Riley over sexual assault and misconduct allegations.
Paul Riley was fired immediately as the sexual assault allegations were proven which lasted for more than a year.
The Commissioner of NWSL, Lisa Baird released an official statement saying, “I was shocked and disgusted to read the new allegations reported in The Athletic this morning. The league, in concert with the North Carolina Courage, has reacted swiftly in response to these new allegations, and former head coach Paul Riley has been terminated. Concurrently, we are reporting these new allegations to the US Center for Safe Sport for investigation. A safe and secure work environment is a top priority for the league and its collective ownership. The league has in place a comprehensive anti-harassment/anti-discrimination policy.”
She further said “the league has mandated that league and team staff who regularly interact with players participate in training conducted by the US Center for SafeSport, and is further mandating background checks and additional screening for those same individuals. We are implementing a new anonymous reporting process, whereby players, team, and league staff may text concerns to the league, which will be promptly investigated. We ask our players and all associated with the league to raise their concerns to us, as we continue to make our league a safe, positive, and respectful environment for our players, clubs, staff, and fans.”
The club called out the terminated head coach openly by stating “the North Carolina Courage have terminated head coach Paul Riley, effective immediately, in light of today’s reports of very serious allegations of misconduct. Sean Nahas has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season, effective today at training.”
The news spread like wildfire and many former players of NWSL jumped up into criticizing the slain head coach by sharing their own experiences while playing under him.
Sinead Farrelly stated that these harassment issues have been going on for a long time and she experienced it way back in 2011 while she was a junior. Another player, Mana Shim, shared a similar experience at the hands of coach Paul Riley.
Julie Foudy, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Becky Sauerbrunn were just a few of the many voices that shouted out against the coach and the protocols of NWSL, which makes the players remain silent.
Paul Riley completely denied the sexual harassment and misconduct allegation and called them “completely untrue.”