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National Women's Soccer League cancels games as coach faces sexual misconduct allegations

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Posted at 4:52 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 22:58:49-04

The North Carolina Courage fired head coach Paul Riley after reports of sexual misconduct.

The Courage, which plays in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), said it supports the players that came forward and commended their bravery.

Players who previously played for Riley told The Athletic that they were victims of sexual coercion. One woman said she was coerced to have sex with Riley on multiple occasions.

Another player said Riley told her to kiss a player to avoid grueling workouts during practice.

Riley told The Athletic that the allegations are "completely untrue."

In response to the report, the National Women's Soccer League said it would cancel all weekend games.

"Our entire league has a great deal of healing to do, and our players deserve so much better. We have made this decision in collaboration with our players association and this pause will be the first step as we collectively work to transform the culture of this league, something that is long overdue,” NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird said.

Hours after Baird issued that statement, the NWSL said it accepted Baird's resignation.

The U.S. Soccer Federation also announced it suspended Riley's coaching license.