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NWSL executive committee to oversee league's 'commitment to systemic transformation'

Committee includes KC NWSL's Angie Long
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Posted at 11:12 PM, Oct 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 00:12:46-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Women’s Soccer League’s board of governors announced Sunday an executive committee tasked with managing the oversight of the league’s front office operations, according to a KC NWSL news release.

Three members will lead the league's "commitment to systemic transformation" as they conducting a global search for a permanent commissioner following the recent commissioner's resignation.

Angie Long of KC NWSL, Orlando Pride’s Amanda Duffy and Sophie Sauvage from OL Reign make up the three-person committee.

“We understand that we must undertake a significant systemic and cultural transformation to address the issues required to become the type of league that NWSL players and their fans deserve and regain the trust of both," the executive committee said in the release. "We’re committed to doing just that and recognize that this won’t happen overnight, but only through vigilance over time.”

The NWSL canceled all matches over the weekend, including a KC NWSL game that was to take place Oct. 3, in the wake of how the league handled sexual misconduct allegations of one of its clubs.

“On behalf of the entire league, we are heartbroken for what far too many players have had to endure in order to simply play the game they love, and we are so incredibly sorry,” the executive committee said in the release.

In an effort to move forward, the league is launching “several critical investigative and reform initiatives to protect players and staff, and the environments in which athletes live, train, and compete to give athletes the agency and ability to safely report misconduct of any form,” the release said.

Some of the initiatives include an independent review of practices and policies at league and club levels, reopening a 2015 investigation regarding ex-NWSL coach Paul Riley, and a review of the available investigative reports related to all past complaints of discrimination, harassment or abuse, among other efforts.

Current anti-harassment policy and reporting avenues can be found here.

By taking these steps and prioritizing transparency, the league said in the release it hopes to “earn trust through accountability” and build “an environment where success on and off the pitch is the central theme of any discussion of the NWSL."