The North Carolina Courage of the NWSL fired coach Paul Riley after charges of misbehavior surfaced.
The National Women’s Soccer League’s North Carolina Courage sacked head coach Paul Riley on Thursday, citing “severe allegations of misbehavior” that spanned more than a decade.
Riley made the statement after The Athletic released an investigation that included comments from over a dozen players from every team Riley has coached since 2010, including two named players who went on the record with charges against him.
Riley was accused of sexual coercion and making inappropriate comments about the athletes’ weight and sexual orientation, according to the report.
“Following severe allegations of misbehavior, the North Carolina Courage have sacked head coach Paul Riley, effective immediately,” the team said in a statement. “The Courage stands behind the players who have spoken up, and we applaud them for fearlessly sharing their tales.
“The North Carolina Football Club is committed to fostering a safe, positive, and courteous environment not only inside our organization, but throughout the league and our great sport.
“As previously stated, players and staff are encouraged to report any inappropriate behavior in accordance with NWSL policy as we strive to maintain the highest professional standards of conduct throughout our organization,” said the league.
Sean Nahas will serve as the team’s temporary head coach for the duration of the season, according to the Courage.
Riley’s coaching license was also suspended, effective immediately, by the United States Soccer Federation, which said in a statement that Riley’s “abusive behavior described by the courageous individuals who have come forward is abhorrent, unacceptable, and has zero place in soccer or society.”
Riley, who has denied most of the allegations, was subjected to an investigation by the NWSL Players Association earlier Thursday. The coach told The Athletic in an email that the majority of the charges were “absolutely false.”
The charges stunned and horrified NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird, who published a statement on Thursday.
“The league and its collective ownership place a high focus on a safe and secure work environment,” Baird added. “The league has a detailed anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policy in place.
“We’re launching a new anonymous reporting system in which players, teams, and league personnel may text issues to the league, which will be investigated as soon as possible. As we continue to build our league, we ask that our players and everyone affiliated with it express their concerns to us. Article Summary from Nokia News