Midge Purce ‘heartbroken’ over reported and unreported NWSL abuse stories

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Midge Purce stopped by “The Cooligans” on Thursday to discuss the recent controversies that have rocked the NWSL, sparked by allegations of abuse against former coach Paul Riley.

“My feelings definitely were cyclic going in between, I was heartbroken for a lot of the stories I’ve heard that were not in the press,” said the U.S. women’s national team and Gotham FC forward. “I was heartbroken to hear the stories in the press. I was angry, it makes me angry for people who go through traumatic experiences like that.”

She went on to say that the reaction of those on social media disgusted her.

“When you go on and see an article like that posted and see comments, just like sexist comments about women in sport and where they should be, it’s just like, ‘Are you reading the same thing I’m reading? Are you understanding the severity of what’s happening?’

“It’s not a joke to be demeaning and condescending to women in that way.”

The NWSL has undergone a league-wide reckoning since The Athletic reported allegations of sexual coercion and emotional abuse against Riley. In response, the North Carolina Courage fired Riley and NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird resigned. On Monday, the NWSL appointed Marla Messing as interim CEO and the NWSL Players Association said the two sides have “made further progress” toward reaching a resolution over the PA’s demands issued amid the turmoil.

Purce said she feels empowered by the way people within the league have come together to demand change.

“I’m super hopeful,” she said. “I’m super energized and I am on board to do whatever the people in these positions need to be done to protect players going forward.”

“The Cooligans” streams every Thursday night on Fubo Sports Network at 7 p.m. ET.