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Ex-Pride coach Amanda Cromwell blasts ‘biased’ NWSL investigation

Orlando Pride head coach Amanda Cromwell has been placed on leave. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Amanda Cromwell blasted the NWSL and NWSL Players Association’s joint investigation into misconduct in the league after she was terminated from her position as Orlando Pride coach Monday.

The NWSL terminated her contract after investigators found that she and her first assistant Sam Greene engaged in retaliatory behavior against Pride players who they believed had backed misconduct allegations against them.

Cromwell and Greene both had been on administrative leave since June at the recommendation of the investigative team.

“I believe the investigation lacked transparency, professionalism, and thoroughness, and as a result my character and integrity have been mischaracterized,” she said in a statement published to her Twitter account.

She contends in her statement that the investigation’s findings spring from a decision to waive a player based on “performance and conduct that was detrimental to the team culture,” a decision made by the coaching staff and other team leaders in concert.

“Throughout this process, I have remained silent as I have fully cooperated with a biased and incomplete investigation in an effort to clear my name and protect the reputation I have built as both a professional player and a coach for nearly 40 years,” she said in her statement.

Cromwell and Greene can no longer work in the NWSL in any capacity unless approved for reinstatement by the commissioner of the league.

To do so would require participation in mandatory training regarding retaliation, discrimination, harassment and bullying, as well as in mandatory executive coaching. The coaches would also have to acknowledge wrongdoing and demonstrate a sincere commitment to correcting their behavior.

Cromwell concluded her statement by saying she “will be reviewing all legal options.” And while she acknowledged “a culture of abuse in the NWSL,” she denied playing a part in it – and in fact, she noted that abuse can impact coaches as well, and that women on her staff “have raised serious concerns” about the issue.