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NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird: ‘I take full responsibility’

(Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)

NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement on Friday that she takes “full responsibility” for the role she has played in the league’s tumultuous season.

“This week, and much of this season, has been incredibly traumatic for our players and staff, and I take full responsibility for the role I have played,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said in the statement. “I am so sorry for the pain so many are feeling.”

Baird has been the subject of scrutiny in the past 24 hours after allegations of sexual coercion and emotional abuse surfaced against former-North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley. In a statement yesterday, Baird said she was “shocked and disgusted” by the allegations.

However, USWNT star Alex Morgan posted screenshots of emails between Baird and one of the victims, Sinead Farrelly, showing that Baird had known about at least some of the allegations earlier this year.

“The league was informed of these allegations multiple times and refused multiple times to investigate the allegations,” Morgan Tweeted. “The league must accept responsibility for a process that failed to protect its own players from this abuse.”

In response to Farrelly’s initial email, Baird said that the initial complaint was “investigated to conclusion” before wishing Farrelly “the best.”

The NWSL announced on Friday that it will not be playing the weekend’s games.