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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SPORTS Women's soccer commissioner resigns in wake of scandal
2021-10-04

This article shared 1621 times since Mon Oct 4, 2021
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National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Commissioner Lisa Baird resigned after approximately 19 months on the job amid allegations that a former coach engaged in sexual harassment and misconduct, NPR reported.

The league announced Baird's resignation a day after The Athletic published the accounts of two former players (Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim) who claimed misconduct, including sexual coercion, by North Carolina coach Paul Riley.

According to the NWSL website, Baird—a Penn State University alumna—had previously served as the chief marketing officer for New York Public Radio, a position she had held since 2018. Prior to her time with WNYC, Baird spent nearly a decade as the chief marketing officer of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

The Courage fired Riley on Sept. 30, and the allegations launched a wave of criticism by players that forced this past weekend's games to be cancelled. In addition, the soccer organization FIFA is investigating the case.

Riley told The Athletic the allegations were "completely untrue."

The NWSL has dealt with several scandals within the past few months, including Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke being fired after a Washington Post report detailed verbal and emotional abuse of players; Gotham FC general manager Alyse LaHue being let go in July after an investigation connected to the league's anti-harassment policy (although LaHue denied wrongdoing); and OL Reign coach Farid Benstiti abruptly resigning in July after an undisclosed incident during practice.


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