NWSL isn’t the only league where abuse occurs, ex-footballer says

(Nation Now) – The National Women’s Football League’s record is a first for the league, but a longtime player says it’s not really a first for women’s sport.

On February 25, 2019, Ciara McCormack decided that the 11-year wait for the truth to be told was long enough.

“I sort of had enough in 2019, I wrote a blog and just laid out the whole story,” she said on NewsNation’s “The Donlon Report”.

His position detailed abuses in the world of Canadian women’s soccer. “All I can say, with coaches from three different sports involving Canadian national team athletes across the country who have either been convicted or charged with sex crimes in the past two years, it is high time that someone really cares about it and starts to get attention. to that, ”she wrote.

This blog post led fans of the Vancouver Whitecaps, one of the teams she says abuse was committed, to stage three game walkouts that spring.

It was heartwarming, she said, to see people take her complaints seriously. But McCormack said there is still a long way to go.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 08: Jets’ Ciara McCormack controls the ball during the W-League 12th Round match between Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United at Wanderers Oval on February 8, 2014 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder / Getty Images)

On “The Donlon Report” she said she saw many of the same issues in the stories from the NWSL.

“You just have to focus on the facilitators because a lot of these organizations find out about these situations and close their eyes and allow these people to come back,” she said. “They should be held accountable for those kinds of decisions because it really puts the athletes at risk.”

McCormack said he saw other coaches get jobs after being accused of misconduct. “It was like being on gas for 11 years. It’s such a serious situation, but no one is doing anything.

At this point, the NWSL Portland Thorns owner apologized for announcing Paul Riley’s 2015 dismissal as a mutual decision to go their separate ways, despite the team finding the abuse accusations credible. against him.

The league canceled its scheduled games last weekend as players dealt with allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, including sexual coercion, made by two former players against Riley.

Riley was fired by Courage following last week’s report by The Athletic and US Soccer suspended his license.

Thorns owner Merritt Paulson, who also owns Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer, issued an open letter to fans on Monday apologizing for the club’s lack of transparency in handling the case.

“But then we made an opaque announcement about not renewing Riley’s contract instead of explicitly announcing his termination, guided by what we thought at the time was the right thing to do out of respect for life. private players, ”Paulson wrote. “I deeply regret our role in what is clearly a systemic failure of professional women’s football.”

So far, Riley, NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird, Washington Spirits CEO Steve Baldwin and coach Richie Burke have all resigned or been fired.

Presenting his story wasn’t easy two years ago, and McCormack knows it isn’t for today’s players. She said on “The Donlon Report” that she hoped everything would leave the game in a better place.

“I think all of our motivation is just to make sure that all the little kids that come in never have to go through the kinds of things that we’ve been through.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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