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Red Stars players want owner Arnim Whisler out for ‘dishonest’ conduct

(Daniel Bartel/USA TODAY Sports)

The Chicago Red Stars players released a statement in support of the board of directors’ decision to remove owner Armin Whisler from his position as chairman based on his involvement in Sally Yates’ report on systemic abuse in the NWSL released last week.

The board of directors came to the decision in a vote last Wednesday, announcing in a statement that they are also seeking to facilitate the sale of Whisler’s majority shares in the Red Stars organization.

“(We) look forward to finding a new majority owner who can help us realize the full potential that we as players always knew existed for this club,” the players said in a statement Monday. “We have confidence in our Board’s ability to move this club in a direction that is mutually beneficial to players, investors and our fans.”

Whistler’s removal comes after the Sally Yates report revealed that he sided with former coach Rory Dames when abuse allegations were brought to him by the players, even refusing to accept Dames’ resignation when he offered it.

The Red Stars players also said that Whisler lied about this fact to the players and claimed he had no knowledge of Dames’ wrongdoing.

“After the departure of Dames, Arnim Whisler assured us that he was shocked to hear the allegations against Dames, claiming that he had no knowledge of the environment Dames cultivated at the club,” the statement reads. “While we were dubious about Whisler’s assertion, it wasn’t until the report was released that the extent of his dishonesty became clear.”

The players commended the Yates investigation and said they are hopeful that the ongoing NWSL and NWSLPA’s join investigation will continue to move the league in the right direction. The findings of that investigation are expected to be released by the end of the year.

“This team has endured serious hardships over the years, and it is finally our time to implement the changes for which we’ve tirelessly pushed,” the players said. “We are committed to building a future in which players and staff alike can experience joy and success at our club.”

The No. 6 seed Red Stars begin their NWSL postseason campaign with a quarterfinal matchup against the No. 3 San Diego Wave on Sunday.