The North Carolina Courage fired its head coach “following very serious allegations of misconduct,” the professional women’s soccer team wrote in a statement on social media on Thursday, Sept. 30.
The team terminated coach Paul Riley effective immediately, after The Athletic published a report about his alleged abusive behavior this week.
“The Courage support the players who have come forward and we commend them for bravely sharing their stories,” read the statement from the players, staff and principal owner. “The North Carolina Football Club is united together in our commitment to creating a safe, positive, and respectful environment, not only within our club but across the league and our great sport.”
It continued, “As previously stated, players and staff are encouraged to report any inappropriate behavior in accordance with NWSL policy as we prioritize efforts to maintain the highest professional standards of conduct throughout our organization.”
According to The Athletic, former soccer player Sinead Farrelly said she experienced “multiple incidents where she felt coerced into having sex with her coach.” She was coached by Riley during her time with the Philadelphia Independence, New York Fury and Portland Thorns, telling the outlet, “I felt under his control.”