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Amber Brooks suspension puts NWSL referees back in spotlight

Washington Spirit defender Amber Brooks (22) crosses against San Diego Wave FC in the first half at Audi Field. (Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports)

Washington Spirit defender Amber Brooks has been suspended and fined after making an obscene gesture during the 82nd minute of the club’s Sept. 10 match against the San Diego Wave.

The NWSL announced the disciplinary action Friday, citing Section 12.3.6, “Major Game Misconduct” in the League Operations Manual.

As a result of the suspension, Brooks will miss the Spirit’s Wednesday matchup against Angel City FC. Brooks will also miss the team’s Saturday game against Gotham FC, serving a one-game suspension for card accumulation.

The incident and subsequent action from the league have sparked debate among fans, with many condemning the move by the NWSL.

Brooks’ gesture, made after a call by the game official, has reignited a conversation about the quality of the league’s referring, which has been a topic of discussion throughout the NWSL season.

The Spirit will take the field without Brooks on Saturday, facing off against Gotham FC at Audi Field at 7 pm ET.