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Reports: Larry Best is out as Washington Spirit president

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Larry Best, Washington Spirit’s president of sporting operations, resigned on Friday, according to reports. The Spirit executive, among others in the club’s front office, was the focus of a league investigation into the team following reports of a “toxic work culture for female employees.”

An independent investigation into the Washington Spirit uncovered repeated violation of the NWSL’s anti-harassment policy, leading to the firing of coach Richie Burke for cause. The report confirmed player accounts of Burke’s verbal abuse and racist behavior.

According to the Washington Post, the third-party investigation also showed that Best was aware of Burke’s behavior and that he, himself, also used degrading nicknames for players and staff.

The Washington Spirit’s front office has been rocked by the NWSL report, with a fight over the club’s ownership playing out in public. Co-owner Steve Baldwin resigned as managing partner in October, while players called for him to sell the team to fellow co-owner Y. Michele Kang.

Despite the club’s off-field turmoil, the Washington Spirit has clinched a spot in the NWSL playoffs for the first time since 2016.