Women’s soccer in America “hid a lot of bad things under the rug” to make the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) a success, said former midfielder Heather O’Reilly.
Former NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird resigned from her position on the board of directors of the United States Soccer Federation and FIFA launched a preliminary investigation last week following a report detailing allegations of misconduct. against former North Carolina Courage coach, Paul Riley.
The Athletic described the allegations of sexual coercion and misconduct by Riley after speaking with more than a dozen players he had coached since 2010. Riley, who has reportedly denied any wrongdoing, was fired by the Courage and the league.
“I think women’s football has swept a lot of bad things under the rug because we want the league to succeed,” O’Reilly, who won three Olympic gold medals and the World Cup, said in an interview with the BBC on Friday. .
“We want to continue our personal careers and there are not as many opportunities for female players to be professional footballers, so I think that’s why a lot of things are discussed. As a player, you just take it.”
“There are not a lot of HR employees in the NWSL. [recursos humanos] In the clubs, there is no direct line for the players to call, that’s why so many things happen over and over again and they are not disciplined. “
Former NWSL players Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly, who made the allegations against Riley of sexual coercion public, said Tuesday they want more steps to be taken to protect the players.
The NWSL, which is the highest tier of women’s soccer in the United States, has launched an independent investigation into its handling of allegations of abuse and historical allegations of discrimination, harassment or abuse.
It also created a secure and anonymous reporting platform for current and former players and staff to report misconduct.