all scores

San Diego NWSL owner Ron Burkle named in sexual assault lawsuit

Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

San Diego NWSL owner Ron Burkle has been named as a defendant in a sexual assault lawsuit.

Erin Skalde, who is married to former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins assistant coach Jarrod Skalde, is set to file a sexual assault lawsuit against former head coach Clark Donatelli.

Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin, former Penguins star Mario Lemieux and Burkle, who is also part owner of the Penguins, were named as defendants in the case.

According to reports, Skalde says that Donatelli touched her inappropriately twice on a team road trip in 2018. Jarrod Skalde has said he was told to keep quiet about the accusation after reporting it. When he complained to the team once more, Skalde says he was fired. In response, the Skaldes filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania on the basis that the team had violated Pennsylvania’s whistleblower laws.

In the time between the reported assault and Skalde’s dismissal, Donatelli resigned “for personal reasons.”

The lawsuit comes as the NWSL continues to deal with the fallout of allegations of abuse by former coach Paul Riley. The Portland Thorns recently named Karina LeBlanc as general manager in place of Gavin Wilkinson, who was with the Thorns when they investigated Riley for inappropriate behavior in 2015. The NWSL also named Marla Messing as interim CEO following the resignation of Lisa Baird.

The NHL, meanwhile, is dealing with backlash of their own after the Chicago Blackhawks organization was found to have covered up a sexual assault case in 2010.