Report: NWSL will expand to San Francisco, Utah and Boston
Utah will be rejoining the league.
Fans took serious issue with Olsens’ admitted lack of experience in the interview, pointing out that there are plenty of qualified applicants who fit the job description and know the women’s game.
“But I come with fresh eyes, I don’t necessarily know the women’s game as much as many people in the soccer world but that’s ok too.”— go listen to lemonade and pray about it (@DiasporaUtdPod) September 7, 2021
-Ben Olsen, President, Washington Spirithttps://t.co/iGOk4vIvs7 pic.twitter.com/gfRhaP09fS
"I'm asking for the benefit of the doubt"— Gal Pal Sports (@GalPalSports) September 7, 2021
The same thing denied over and over again to so many qualified applicants who aren't straight white guys, who are grad school buds with a minority owner. https://t.co/bekb289ZSa
"I don’t necessarily know the women’s game as much as many people in the soccer world but that’s ok too" - the mantra of every unqualified man getting a job over qualified women. https://t.co/rfye1Vkq33— Ale Russian (@_alerussian_) September 7, 2021
To answer Ben’s question, no you don’t get the benefit of the doubt. You get no leeway. You’re in the chair now so do the work. But know that everything you do is going to be scrutinized. All of it. It should be. If you understand, as you say in this interview, you’ll get why.— Anthony DiCicco (@DiCiccoMethod) September 7, 2021
You know what? I retract this statement. If any pro women’s club considers Ben Olsen to be qualified to serve as club president then I am actually, comfortably and confidently, very much qualified. Most of my women colleagues are—we just don’t say it out loud and we should. https://t.co/CCzjfRnLZT— Haley Carter (She/Her) (@H_C_Carter) September 7, 2021
“I’m upset because there are people who work a lifetime to get a chance like this in women’s soccer that aren’t getting this opportunity,” wrote Anthony DiCicco.
“To answer Ben’s question, no you don’t get the benefit of the doubt. You get no leeway. You’re in the chair now so do the work. But know that everything you do is going to be scrutinized.”
Elsewhere, Olsen’s lack of past support and interest in the Spirit came to light. While he said in the interview that he’s now watched three Spirit games, it’s unclear how many he watched before that.
Just tell me this, had Ben Olsen ever been to a Washington Spirit game from 2013 to July 2021? A Freedom game before that? A DCU women’s game when they had a team?— Anthony DiCicco (@DiCiccoMethod) September 7, 2021
There’s not knowing the women’s game and there’s not acknowledging that the women’s game exists.
Others focused on the fact that Olsen was hired seemingly on a whim, suggesting that he was offered the job primarily to bolster Steve Baldwin’s position in the ongoing fight between Spirit co-owners.
To be clear, I don’t think I’m qualified to be President of a pro club. But to see someone so up front about his lack of qualifications, and that his hire was essentially on Steve’s whim, sends a clear message that even remotely qualified women aren’t a priority there.— Haley Carter (She/Her) (@H_C_Carter) September 7, 2021
Utah will be rejoining the league.
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