The owner of the NWSL team apologized for dealing with the abuse.

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Los Angeles:

Portland Thorns owner Merritt Paulson on Monday apologized to two former players for his team’s role in dealing with allegations of sexual harassment against former football coach Paul Riley.

Paulson said the team should have been more open about Riley’s dismissal in 2015 and that the lack of accountability and transparency and subsequent inaction reflect “military failure in women’s professional football.”

Paulson wrote in an open letter, “We then made a vague announcement not to renew the rally agreement, as opposed to explicitly announcing its termination, at which point we thought the players’ That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. ” On the team’s website on Monday. I am sorry for our role in women’s professional football, which is clearly a military failure.

Paulson said Thorns did not disclose the investigation publicly, which led people to believe the rally’s dismissal was the result of poor results on the ground.

He said Thorns conducted an internal investigation into the rally after allegations were made by then-players Snyad Farrell and Manashim. He said the club had informed the National Women’s Soccer League of the results of its investigation.

“Ultimately, we could have done more. I apologize to Mana, the Senate, and all those who are hurting as a result,” he wrote.

Paulson added, “We not only admire their bravery in coming forward, but also listen to their determination. It shouldn’t have been difficult, nor should it have taken too long. That is a personal and professional problem for survivors. “

Paulson’s letter comes in the wake of last week’s report by The Athletic, which details widespread sexual abuse by the 58-year-old Englishman Riley, which has spread to several teams and leagues since 2010.

Farrell, who has played for three different teams for the rally, accused the coach of “sexual harassment” while he was his coach at Philadelphia Independence.

She said she was forced to have sex with a coach after going to her hotel room in 2011 after losing the Women’s Professional Soccer League final. “We’re taking him to our graves,” Riley told him.

In another incident during their reign with Thorns, Farrell and Sham said Riley forced them to kiss each other while they were in their apartment. “This boy is a role model,” Sham told Athletic.

Portland team-mate and national team star Alex Morgan, who also played under Rally at the same time, supported the players’ allegations and said he tried to help them file a report with the league. Is.

Morgan wrote in a tweet on Thursday, “I’m sick and can’t share many thoughts at this time.”

“Bottom line: protect your players. Do the right thing NWSL.”

Riley was fired by Kante after he became the North Carolina Courage coach. Himmat called off the rally last week.

In a statement to Athletic, Riley denied the allegations, calling the allegations “completely false.”

“I have never had sex with these players, or made any sexual progress,” he told the website.

The league’s players’ union, NWSLPA, said in its first tweet that “military abuse” was bothering NWSL.

“Words cannot adequately capture our anger, pain, sadness and frustration,” the NWSLPA said.

The NWSL announced Sunday that it has retained a lawyer to oversee several investigations. The move comes two days after the league fired commissioner Lisa Baird.





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