Portland Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg has had enough.
On Wednesday, reports surfaced detailing numerous accounts of verbal abuse by former Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke. At the same time, it was revealed that Burke had been fired and not reassigned to the front office as the team had originally announced on Tuesday. Burke has since been placed on leave pending an investigation.
Later on Tuedsay, it was reported that another Washington Spirit coach, former assistant Tom Torres, left last summer due to inappropriate conduct.
On Thursday afternoon, Klingenberg addressed the situation and its broader context on Twitter.
“I’m so f—- tired of this bullshit,” she wrote, demanding that the NWSL, owners and general managers “keep players safe.”
We Deserve Better pic.twitter.com/erYnucp4LU— Meghan Klingenberg (@meghankling) August 12, 2021
We Deserve Better pic.twitter.com/erYnucp4LU
“It’s devastating hearing about abuse of young women chasing down their dreams,” Klingenberg said. “As a victim of emotional and verbal harassment by an owner in a previous league, I know how draining and traumatizing it is dealing with the abuse.”
Klingenberg has spent the past seven years in the NWSL. Prior to that, she played with Tyreso FF in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan for two seasons and for three teams in the Women’s Professional Soccer league.
“It’s not ok to just let an organizational member resign and sweep things under the rug,” Klingenberg continued.
“This isn’t just something that has happened at one club. This is systemic and we need accountability. These abusers often have direct influence over our livelihoods and our dreams. No player should ever have to choose between their livelihood and their safety/wellbeing.”