The Washington Spirit’s fan club, the Spirit Squadron, are calling on owner Steve Baldwin to sell his share of the team after a new report described the club’s working culture as toxic for female employees.
“We no longer have confidence that Steve Baldwin can effectively lead the Washington Spirit,” the club said in a statement. “Until new ownership publicly puts forth a plan that ensures a safe environment for players and staff, and commits to a true vetting process for hiring qualified employees at the highest levels, we will limit our game day activities.”
Enough is enough #SellTheTeamSteve pic.twitter.com/Yrgu9b8bY5— Spirit Squadron (@SpiritSquadron) September 23, 2021
Enough is enough #SellTheTeamSteve pic.twitter.com/Yrgu9b8bY5
The fan group will stop flying flags, chanting and playing drums in the supporters section as part of their protest.
In the Washington Post’s latest report, current and former female employees likened the Spirit’s environment to “an old boys’ club.” Forty percent of the female staff members listed on the club’s website have left since June, according to the Post’s Molly Hensley-Clancy.
The Spirit fired head coach Richie Burke last month after multiple players accused him of verbal and emotional abuse. The Post has also reported that Y. Michele Kang and CEO Steve Baldwin have been fighting for control of the club.
“We cannot continue to operate as if there is not a cancer eating away at the heart and soul of this club that you play for and we love,” read the group’s statement. “Sell the team, Steve.”