USWNT and Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan showed support for former NWSL players Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly by calling out the American women’s league to end the systematic failure that enabled a decade of alleged sexual harassment and abuse of players by some league coaches.
Morgan appeared on NBC’s “Today” show alongside Shim and Farrelly to condemn the league and call for a proactive set up of policies that protect current and future players.
“I’m here to support Mana and Sinead and to continue to amplify their voices, and just show the systemic failure from the league and how wrong they did in handling Mana’s case and complaint and investigation and where they failed Mana and Sinead, and probably many other women,” Morgan said.
“When I look back, I tried to be as good a friend and teammate as possible to Mana in helping her file a complaint, when at the time there was no anti-harassment policy in place, there was no league HR, there was no anonymous hotline, there was no way to report.
“We’ve now started to put these things in place, by demand of players, not by the league being proactive. Something we ask is for the league to start being proactive, not reactive. We’re asking for transparency.”
Later in the segment, Farrelly took the opportunity to thank key supporters and note that going public has raised the necessary awareness.
“The support and the validation of this story by everyone globally has just been, has blown me away and really has felt like it has given my pain a purpose,” she said. “Mana and Alex and a couple of other women we worked with, and every person who’s reached out and shown support, has turned this moment into a movement and made this matter.
“They have truly amplified our voices and just made this what it should be, which is a huge deal, and demanding change.”
When asked what she wanted, former NWSL member Mana Shim answered: “I want more justice. I want better policies. I want players to be protected.”
Several actions have been taken by the league and its players since the allegations came to light. Paul Riley has since been fired, league commissioner Lisa Baird resigned from her post and the U.S. in direct correlation with FIFA has begun an investigation into the matter of Paul Riley.
The National Women’s Soccer League Players Association have issued several statements in support of the players and demanded several changes be made moving forward.