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'Men Protecting Men': Rapinoe Slams League Amid Scandal

2 National Women's Soccer League coaches fired over allegations of misconduct, abuse
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2021 1:05 PM CDT
'Burn It All Down': Rapinoe Slams League Over Coaching Scandal
A file photo of coach Paul Riley.   (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker, File)

(Newser) – The National Women's Soccer League is calling off games scheduled for this weekend amid scandals involving two coaches:

  • Coach I: North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley was fired Thursday by the team following a report in the Athletic that detailed alleged misconduct, including claims from two former players of sexual coercion, per the AP. Riley has denied the allegations.
  • Coach II: Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke was fired on Tuesday following the league's own investigation into allegations of verbal and emotional abuse, reports the Washington Post. (More details on that in a separate story here.)

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  • An apology: "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," said NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird in a statement. "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."
  • Morgan: Big-name soccer stars are speaking out, including Alex Morgan. "The league was informed of these allegations multiple times and refused multiple times to investigate the allegations," she tweeted, referring to Riley. "The league must accept responsibility for a process that failed to protect its own players from this abuse."
  • Rapinoe: Megan Rapinoe joined the outcry. "Men, protecting men, who are abusing women," she tweeted. "I'll say it again, men, protecting men, who are ABUSING WOMEN. Burn it all down. Let all their heads roll."
(Read more US women's soccer stories.)

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