Marla Messing, acting executive director of the top US women’s professional soccer division, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), said the league has agreed in principle to meet the eight demands made by the NWSLPA (NWSLPA). .
After reports detailing verbal abuse and sexual coercion by NWSL coaches, the NWSLPA released a list of eight lawsuits on October 6. Among them was that members of the Association voluntarily participated in the Syndicate’s investigation of sexual misconduct, and that there was complete transparency by the Association regarding other ongoing investigations. The NWSLPA also requested that it be included in the process for selecting the next commissioner.
Speaking to reporters over a Zoom call just two days after accepting his interim position, Messing said that in addition to reaching an agreement on the eight lawsuits, the union and the union should cooperate in one investigation rather than two separate investigations. Messing added that the investigation could take up to nine months to complete.
“I am very pleased with this news as it collectively allows us to move forward with the investigation in a collaborative manner,” Messing said of the agreement. “I want to repeat that the league has been hired [el bufete de abogados] Covington & Burling to conduct a thorough independent investigation and make recommendations and reforms based on its findings. Covington has been given full access and autonomy to follow events, wherever they lead. The goal of NWSL is to be the best women’s soccer league in the world; We must eradicate these problems and this behavior so that we are in a position to achieve this goal.”
The absurd has been involved in women’s football for a long time. She served as President and CEO of the 1999 Women’s World Cup. Messing added that she accepted the position of NWSL at the insistence of the President of the Football Association of the United States, or USA, Cindy Barlow Cohn. She said she would act as commissioner, including overseeing the league’s office and interacting with the board of directors.
“This is something very important to me, and if I can help be a catalyst for change, it means a lot to me,” she said.
Messing declined to say if he would like a full-time job, saying he would prefer to focus on the issues at hand.
“There are a lot of challenges, and right now, my job is to oversee investigations, make sure that organizational change is implemented and guide the day-to-day operations of the league, and I’m honestly focused on those things,” she said. She said. “I want to achieve these things successfully on behalf of the players in the league. Everything else will be told by time.”
Among the tasks that Messing will be keeping an eye on is the potential sale of Washington Spirit. Following reports in the Washington Post about toxic workplace culture, the National League investigated the allegations and found violations of the university’s anti-harassment policy. The team was banned from participating in league management affairs and given 14 days to respond to the allegations.
But Messing said that since majority owner Steve Baldwin announced his intention to sell the team, the league unilaterally extended the deadline.
“We very much hope that the sale will go through,” Messing said.
Spirit players lobbied for Spirit co-owner Y. Michele Kang to buy the club. When asked if that would happen, Messing stated that it was up to Baldwin to decide who he would sell his stock to.
“Overall, my goal is to have an owner in Washington, D.C., that the players love and respect, and the players feel that they have their best interests in mind,” Messing said. “Whether it’s Michelle or someone else, I don’t know. It’s obviously Steve Baldwin’s decision to sell the team. The league has the authority to approve this sale, so we’re going to follow it closely.”
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