Kayla Sharples says burning the NWSL down ‘isn’t the answer’


Chicago Red Stars defender Kayla Sharples is focusing on reform over destruction when it comes to the NWSL.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Sharples thanked fans for their support over the past week and responded to recent allegations against former coach Paul Riley that have rocked the league.

“Thank you to all the fans for the outpouring of support this week,” Sharples wrote. “We deeply appreciate you and you are helping us pave the way for change.

“I do want to note that I keep seeing comments about ‘burning down’ the league and this isn’t the answer,” she continued. “The league is worth saving because the players are the league.

“Instead we must fix the leadership, reform the league and stop perpetrating the code of silence through the threat of burning it down. Players should NOT live in fear of the league collapsing because we ask for basic rights of mental and physical safety.”

Last Thursday, The Athletic reported on former NWSL players accusing Riley of sexual coercion and emotional abuse. In the hours after the allegations came to light, the Courage fired Riley and commissioner Lisa Baird resigned. The NWSL, FIFA and US Soccer have each opened investigations into the league’s conduct. The Portland Thorns, who have been directly linked to the scandal, have placed GM Gavin Wilkinson on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.