Female Soccer Players Pause Play in Pennsylvania in Wake of Abuse Allegations

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) players paused gameplay on Wednesday, October 6, to support former players who accused North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley of sexual abuse.

Riley was fired by North Carolina Courage in the wake of allegations of sexual coercion “spanning multiple teams and leagues since 2010”, The Athletic reported.

Video filmed by Instagram user @hilcar shows NJ/NY Gotham FC and Washington Spirit taking a moment of silence at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, during the sixth minute of their match.

“Tonight, we reclaim our place on the field, because we will not let our joy be taken from us,” the NWSL Players Association (NWSLPA) wrote in a statement. “But this is not business as usual.”

“Players will join together in solidarity at the center circle for one minute in honor of the six years it took for Mana, Sinead, and all those who fought for too long to be heard,” they continued. “We call on fans to stand in silence with us. During that time, we ask you to stand in that pain and discomfort with us, as we consider what we have been asked to sit with for too long. We call on you to consider, in that minute, what is demanded of each of us to reclaim our league and our sport.”

The NWSLPA has demanded “every coach, general manager, representative on the board of governors, and owner voluntarily submit to the Players Association’s independent investigation into abusive conduct.” Credit: @hilcar via Storyful

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