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The Lowdown: On the NWSL’s path forward

Photo Copyright Rachael Kriger for The Equalizer

The National Women’s Soccer League is heading into it’s most exciting final weekend to date, and yet the focus of the still fledgling league has never been away from the pitch. The WoSo world woke up on Sept. 30 and has not been the same since. It likely, or at least hopefully, never will be.

That was the day we found out that one of the sport’s most prominent coaches had allegedly been engaging in acts of sexual coercion with players for what is likely at least a decade.  It was the day we found out that at least one team owner was complicit, if not in Paul Riley’s behavior, certainly his ability to continue working in the league. It was the day we found out the commissioner of the NWSL chose to send a callous, no-time-for-you email to Sinead Farrelly rather than spend her time, and league resources, to open a new investigation.

The cost of Baird not giving Farrelly a dignified reply was first, Baird’s job, and also a slew of independent investigations and investigators that number enough to make your head spin. If you work in the NWSL, there is likely someone investigating you for something, or someone close enough to you that you’ll be answering questions. This was a necessary development for a league that has completely blurred the lines between not being able to pay players enough and not treating them with dignity.

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