The National Women’s Soccer League has postponed this weekend's matches, as first reported by Corey Roepken. The postponement comes in light of reporting done by Meg Linehan of The Athletic that detailed former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley’s alleged sexual coercion.
Amid institutional failure, former #NWSL players accuse a prominent coach of sexual coercion.— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) September 30, 2021
An investigation at @TheAthletic, with @KatieJStrang: https://t.co/0ul4IhZxyr pic.twitter.com/A6psqAWAq1
NEWS: Sources tell me that this weekend's scheduled NWSL matches will not be played this weekend.— Corey Roepken (@RipSports) October 1, 2021
Whether that means postponed or canceled, I don't know. I think we will hear more from the league today.
The original report did not specify whether or not the matches would be canceled or postponed. According to Theodore Lloyd-Hughes of The Texas Striker, the matches will be postponed and the league will try to complete the matches at a later date.
Sources: NWSL matches will be POSTPONED this weekend.— Theo Lloyd-Hughes (@theodore_LH) October 1, 2021
League will try to complete matches.
The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf reported that the suspending of play has been collectively agreed upon by the players, league and the teams.
My understanding from multiple sources is that suspending play is collectively agreed upon between players, NWSL, teams (which it has to be). We'll see what the language of that looks like.— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) October 1, 2021
“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. “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. We have made this decision in collaboration with our players association and this pause will be the first step as we collectively work to transform the culture of this league, something that is long overdue.”
Yesterday the NWSL Player’s Association issued the league three ultimatums to be completed by 12:00 p.m. EST on Friday, October 1, 2021:
- NWSL initiate an independent investigation into the allegations published by The Athletic this morning pursuant to the Anti-Harassment Policy for a Safe Work Environment by 12:00 p.m. EST on Friday, October 1, 2021.
- Any League or Club Staff who are accused of conduct, no matter when it occurred, that violates the current Anti-Harassment Policy for a Safe Work Environment or any mandated reporter who failed to report the alleged violation be suspended immediately, pending the results of the above referenced investigation, and in any event no later than 12:00 p.m. EST on Friday, October 1, 2021.
- NWSL disclose how Paul Riley was hired within the NWSL after departing from another NWSL Club subsequent to an investigation into abusive conduct during the bargaining session scheduled for Friday, October 1, 2021.
More details and statements are expected in the coming hours.