Alyse LaHue made unwanted sexual advances toward a player during her time as general manager for Gotham FC, per the NWSL and NWSLPA report into league misconduct released Wednesday.
LaHue, who served as general manager of the club from 2019-21, was one of several team executives from across the NWSL cited in the report. The investigation found that she sent inappropriate text messages to a player.
“You were in my dream last night. Getting a massage,” read one text. “I don’t see us as friends,” read another.
The player rebuffed the advances repeatedly, she told the investigative team, but LaHue persisted.
“On one occasion, when she informed LaHue that other players had asked why LaHue was ‘so mean’ to her, LaHue responded, ‘Tell them kids at the playground always pick on their crush,’” the report states.
LaHue also reportedly criticized the player’s religious beliefs, calling her and other team members who shared those beliefs “judgmental.”
In 2021, the league investigated LaHue’s conduct, with multiple members of the staff reporting that she behaved “differently” around the player in question.
“As one staff member explained, there had ‘always been a high interest and attention’ in this player by LaHue,” the report states. Another member of the team described moments in which LaHue provided special treatment to the player or “sought to be close to the player.”
The club fired the general manager in July 2021 due to what it called “a violation of league policy.” The Athletic later reported that LaHue was fired for violating the league’s anti-harassment policy.
Club statement. pic.twitter.com/hlBpaiwkaP— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) July 16, 2021
Club statement. pic.twitter.com/hlBpaiwkaP
LaHue denied the allegations in 2021 and again after the release of the NWSL report. She said in a statement to the Washington Post that while she is “supportive of reform” in the league, she took issue with aspects of the investigation. In the statement, she also claimed documents used against her had been digitally altered.
While she participated in an initial interview with the NWSL and NWSLPA investigative team, LaHue canceled her second interview. She also declined multiple requests to reschedule.
The report also highlighted the larger issue that persists surrounding the NWSL’s reporting policies. As general manager, LaHue was meant to be the players’ contact for reporting misconduct. But when she was accused of misconduct herself, players felt as though they had nowhere to turn.
“One player recalled wanting to report conduct by her general manager, Alyse LaHue,” the report states. “But said that the team ‘didn’t even know who we could contact because [the general manager] is our only contact . . . . There’s no one. It was hopeless.’”