The National Women’s Soccer League has agreed to all of the terms of the NWSL Players Association’s demands, both organizations announced Friday.
“Today is a major step in protecting player safety moving forward, but this is just the beginning,” a statement from the NWSLPA said.
The NWSLPA Demands were issued in the sixth minute after returning to play on Oct. 6, in conjunction with a one-minute game stoppage and show of solidarity at the center circle to honor the six years that Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly fought to be heard, as well as Kaiya McCullough, who spoke truth to power.
“Each of these demands is seen by the players as one step closer to the goal of taking our league back,” said Tori Huster, President of the NWSL Players Association.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement to collaborate with the Players Association on the investigation announced by the NWSL on Oct. 3,” the league said in a statement. “As a league, we are committed to making the systemic and cultural changes necessary to create a safe environment for our players and staff, and today’s agreement to proceed with a joint investigation is an important next step in that process.”
The NWSL has agreed to a transparent investigation overseen by a five-person committee, including two representatives from the NWSL Players Association, one from NWSL, one club representative, and one jointly selected neutral party. The scope of the investigation will review any instances of inappropriate conduct and seek to identify systemic failures to protect player health and safety.
The objective of this investigation is to seek the truth in order to develop evidence-based practices that will transform NWSL into one where player safety is at the forefront. The Players Association commends NWSL and Interim CEO Marla Messing for their work to reach this resolution, which we believe is unique in professional sports. The Players Association is grateful to Sarah Coyne, Arianna Scavetti, and Drew Tulumello of Weil, Gotshal, & Manges LLP for their representation in this critically important work.
“Throughout the history of our sport, it is players who have blazed the trail of change. We, as players, embrace this legacy. It is the call of our generation to make the game we love safer for future generations so that it reflects the best of our sport and the people in it,” stated Meghann Burke, cxecutive director of the Players Association and a former player.
“Agreeing to these demands for basic player protections is a step along that trail, but by no means is it the destination,” Huster stated.
The Players Association is working to achieve its first collective bargaining agreement.