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NWSL Players Association calls for expanded investigations

(Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

The NWSLPA released a list of demands for the NWSL ahead of Wednesday night’s slate of games. The demands follow what has been a tumultuous week across the league following allegations of abuse against former Courage coach Paul Riley.

“We will be relentless in our pursuit of a league that deserves the players in it,” the PA wrote.

The NWSLPA listed eight demands, beginning with “every coach, General Manager, representative on the Board of Governors, and owner” voluntarily submitting to an independent investigation being done by the Player’s Association into abusive conduct. The NWSLPA is also asking the NWSL to cooperate with its investigation.

The deadline to agree with the demands is Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Additionally, players are asking that the NWSL’s investigation, which was announced on Sunday, to be expanded to include each of the 12 clubs represented on the Board of Governors “to determine whether any abuse, whether presently known or unknown, has occurred at any point in time.”

This would also expand to include any League Office Staff, NWSL Club or person in position of power who neglected to investigate concerns of abuse that were raised at any point in time.

The players are also asking the league to adopt an immediate “Step Back Protocol” that forces any person in a position of power to step back from their role while under investigation.

Lastly, the NWSLPA is asking that representatives of the association are allowed to meet with the candidates for Commissioner and “have a meaningful opportunity to be heard in the selection.”

The NWSL resumed play on Wednesday, with players stopping at the sixth minute of every game in solidarity with one another as well as Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly, who brought forth the allegations of abuse that have since rocked the league.

NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird resigned from her position last Friday, while the Portland Thorns placed GM Gavin Wilkinson on administrative leave as his role in the scandal is investigated.

Meanwhile, the NWSL, FIFA and US Soccer have each launched investigations into the cases of misconduct in the league.