NEW YORK – Today, Covington & Burling LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, collectively, the Joint Investigative Team, released their investigative report following a 14-month independent investigation conducted under the direction of an Oversight Committee, into historical and ongoing complaints of discrimination, harassment, abuse (physical, emotional or sexual) and retaliation in the National Women’s Soccer League. The report details the Joint Investigative Team’s observations and findings, and offers recommendations for the NWSL to consider as it addresses the systemic failures that allowed misconduct to occur.
“This report clearly reflects how our league systemically failed to protect our players. On behalf of the Board and the league, let me first and foremost sincerely apologize to our players for those failures and missteps. They deserve, at a minimum, a safe and secure environment to participate at the highest level in a sport they love, and they have my unwavering commitment that delivering that change will remain a priority each and every day,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. “I also commend and am grateful for the courage current and former players demonstrated in advocating for themselves, their teammates and the future of our sport. Our players’ bravery prompted this comprehensive and unprecedented investigation, which has left no stone unturned, and will be critical to informing our future as we work to heal this league, take corrective action and implement systemic reform. We are committed to making all the necessary changes to create a safe and positive environment for our players, staff and fans.”
“Last October, players vowed that we would be relentless in our pursuit of a league that is worthy of the incredible athletes in it. This report is a critical part of that effort. Only when we understand the facts can we make progress toward accountability and transformational change,” said NWSLPA Executive Director Meghann Burke. “While this report is the culmination of a tireless effort by many, it was players who took the first steps to bring us to this moment. When faced with the choice between silence versus speaking out at real personal risk, players who demanded a reckoning gave the NWSL a chance at transformation. They deserve our gratitude and respect.
“We call on the league, U.S. Soccer, NWSL clubs, and everyone in leadership throughout the soccer…