Mana Shim says NWSL should pay for players’ therapy

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Mana Shim wants the NWSL to pay for player’s therapy in the wake of abuse allegations against five of the league’s 10 coaches this season.

“Many people have asked me what players need to heal from this abuse/feel safe in the future,” she wrote. “Feel therapy has to be on the list. The kind where you get to choose any therapist you want and see them as many times as you need and it doesn’t get held up by insurance.”

Shim later offered up further clarification, stating that she meant “free therapy” and not “feel therapy.”

“And when I say free I mean the NWSL should pay our therapists their full rates for our sessions,” she continued. “This should apply to all current and former players who were abused by these coaches.”

Shim is one of the players that came forward publicly in September, detailing allegations of sexual coercion and verbal abuse against former North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley. In the wake of the allegations against Riley, the NWSL underwent a league-wide reckoning that continues to this day, with multiple independent investigations still being conducted.

Kaiya McCullough, who was one of the first players in the league to come forward with allegations of abuse against former Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke, echoed Shim’s statements.

“I’m lucky to have the resources to be able to go to her regularly,” McCullough wrote of her therapist, who she says is “amazing.”

“Like Mana Shim said, everybody in the NWSL should have access to free therapy services. They changed my life.”

Former Chicago Red Stars’ coach Rory Dames is the latest to face allegations of verbal and emotional abuse by players, as detailed in the Post on Monday. At the center of the report is a 2018 formal complaint that was filed to U.S. Soccer — which is currently conducting an independent investigation of the league led by former acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates. According to players, U.S. Soccer failed to follow up with them regarding their claims.