Author: Nicole

The Seattle Reign FC Players Suffer Sexual Abuse and Physical and Emotional Abuse

The Seattle Reign FC Players Suffer Sexual Abuse and Physical and Emotional Abuse

Probe finds emotional abuse, sexual misconduct in NWSL were systemic

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Seattle Reign FC midfielder Alex Morgan is joined by U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis and fellow Reign FC players during a media availability for the 2019 NWSL season in New York. (Photo: Courtesy of NWSL)

An investigation into Major League Soccer’s investigation of its own women’s professional league is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the league’s independent legal agency, following the recent case of two Reign FC players involved in an altercation with an off-duty police officer in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle on July 3, two former Reign FC players allege that former head coach Brian Schmetzer, technical director Paul Riley and MLS team owners and president Danesha McCaskey failed in their obligation to prevent the “systemic, widespread and long-lived” abuse and misconduct of the six-year-old NWSL.

The players, who played for the Reign, are suing the team for sexual abuse and physical and emotional abuse arising from their time with the club. The players are being represented by attorney John Bursill, who successfully represented former Arsenal footballer Peter Cech to obtain $8.5 million in damages from the English club in 2014 for an alleged incident involving a sex cult in which Cech was abused by a group of people, many of them under 18, and in the course of which Cech was drugged and assaulted by them.

Following an initial response from the Reign, and during the course of the complaint, the league released a statement from an unnamed senior management official that said, “The Seattle Reign FC are working with all parties involved to discuss this matter in a thorough and fact-driven manner.”

When reached for comment on the U.S. Attorney’s decision to investigate the league’s internal probe into the alleged “systemic, widespread and long-lived” abuse and misconduct of its players, a league spokesperson said, “We are aware of the U.S

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