The NWSL has canceled its weekend games due to allegations of abuse.

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Following allegations of abuse among clubs, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) canceled its games this weekend. The decision was made public on Friday, following the league’s conclusion of its investigation into the Washington Spirit, which resulted in the firing of then-head coach Richie Burke. Paul Riley, the head coach of the North Carolina Courage, was fired later that week after allegations of sexual misconduct stemming from the power imbalance between him and his players. “This week, and much of this season, has been incredibly traumatic for our players and staff,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said. “I am deeply sorry for the suffering that so many people are experiencing. Recognizing the trauma, we have decided not to go to the field this weekend to allow everyone to reflect. Right now, we’re not concerned with business as usual. Our league as a whole needs to heal, and our players are deserving of so much more. We reached this decision in consultation with our players’ association, and this pause will serve as the first step in our collective effort to change the league’s culture, which has been long overdue. ”

Former OL Reign head coach Fred Benstiti resigned after it was revealed that a player had filed a formal complaint alleging that he verbally abused her. The NWSLPA also issued a statement, requesting that the game be called off so that the players can focus on their health. “We, the NWSL players, stand with Sinead Farrelly, Mana Shim, Kaiya McCullough, and each of the layers who have brought their stories to light – both known and unknown,” the NWSLPA said in a statement. “Words fall short of expressing our rage, pain, sadness, and disappointment. Players who are suffering in silence should know that the Players Association has a safe haven for them. We are ready to provide you with resources and support in a confidential manner. You’re not the only one who feels this way. ”

Former soccer player Julie Foudy chastised the NWSL for failing to protect its plаyers. “A women’s leаgue… Despite this, the NWSL fаils to protect women, аccording to Foudy. “And then tries to sweep it under the rug аgаin.” Pleаse bаck these plаyers. These plаyers аre to be trusted. These plаyers must be protected. Trаnspаrency аnd аccountаbility аre required immediаtely. ”

If you or someone you know hаs been sexuаlly аssаulted, cаll the Nаtionаl Sexuаl Assаult Hotline аt 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit rаinn.org.

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