Snippet: Former Players Accuse North Carolina Courage Coach Paul Riley of Sexual Coercion ☇

Shared on October 5, 2021

Meg Linehan and Katie Strang for The Athletic:

Former players have accused now-former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley of sexual coercion spanning multiple teams and leagues since 2010, according to The Athletic.

Midfielder Sinead Farrelly played for Riley with three teams across three leagues, beginning in 2011. Farrelly told The Athletic that Riley often sat next to her at a bar where he regularly took the team, and eventually, she started to share deeply personal information with him. […]

Ahead of the Thorns’ 2015 season, Meleana “Mana” Shim became entangled in the “social culture” that Riley had cultivated in Portland and in his previous teams. Over time, he started texting Shim more often and asked her to watch film with him, even sometimes at his apartment and in his hotel room. […]

After the NWSL adopted a new anti-harassment policy earlier this year, Farrelly and Shim contacted the league to ask for a new investigation into Riley’s behavior. League commissioner Lisa Baird thanked them for raising their concerns but informed both former players the 2015 complaint was “investigated to conclusion,” and that she could not share any details.

This is not the usual content I post here, but I have covered NWSL things from time to time and this story, along with the fallout have been taking up a lot of my thoughts. I only provided a few excerpts from the free-to-read article (the behind-the-paywall one is way more detailed). Linehan and Strang show why journalism matters and it makes me a little disappointed that the various large, known media outlets only piggybacked on The Athletic’s reporting.

On the other hand, I think it shines a lot of on a lot of horrible things in our society, especially in certain industries or organizations. It’s such a shame it took six years for anything to even happen and one can only hope it encourages others to speak out and more importantly, those in power that can help to actually listen.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.