Amanda Cromwell is out as Orlando Pride head coach. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
It seems that every time we turn around these days, another big news story transpires with a National Women’s Soccer League team or teams.
Last week it was the Sally Q. Yates report, which detailed verbal abuse and sexual misconduct on several league teams.
On Monday night, Orlando Pride head coach Amanda Cromwell and assistant Sam Greene were fired by the NWSL, effective immediately.
Their sacking came about after a NWSL/NWSLPA Joint Investigative Team, looked into verbal abuse and improper favoritism by the coaches.
Both coaches were given the pink slip after a league investigation discovered they engaged “in retaliatory conduct towards players who they believed had initiated, participated in, and were supportive of the March investigation.”
“As we continue to build a league as elite as the players on the pitch, it is critically important that we foster a culture where individuals can safely come forward with concerns without fear of reprisal,” NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “These retaliation concerns were identified during the NWSL/NWSLPA Joint Investigation and interim measures were put in place due to the ongoing nature of the misconduct.”
Statement From Orlando Pride Chairman Mark Wilf (2/2) pic.twitter.com/xrrGRERfke
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) October 10, 2022
After some of the allegations were substantiated and both Cromwell and Greene received written warnings, and Cromwell was informed that she would be required to participate in leadership training.
In May, the Joint Investigative Team received reports that Cromwell and Greene were engaging in retaliatory conduct towards players who they believed had initiated, participated in, and were supportive of the March investigation.
After yet another investigation both coaches were let go.
“Specifically, Cromwell and Greene were found to have engaged in conduct that discouraged reporting and fostered a general fear of retaliation, and to have taken negative actions against certain players, including by seeking to waive or trade them,” a league statement read.
According to the NWSL, Cromwell and Greene are ineligible to work in the league in any capacity unless they are approved by the commissioner. To be eligible, Cromwell and Greene must participate in mandatory training regarding retaliation, discrimination, harassment and bullying. They also must participate in mandatory executive coaching, as determined by the commissioner and at the League’s expense. Cromwell and Greene can apply to the commissioner for consideration only after they have successfully completed the mandatory training and coaching, acknowledged wrongdoing, and demonstrated a sincere commitment to modifying their behavior.
Goalkeeper coach Aline Reis was placed on unpaid administrative leave, effective immediately.
The Joint Investigative Team found that Reis did not cooperate fully with the investigation, which was in violation of League policy. The investigation discovered that she pressured players to share favorable information with investigators.
Reis is required to participate in mandatory training regarding retaliation, discrimination, harassment and bullying, and must participate in mandatory executive coaching, as determined by the commissioner and at the league’s expense, according to a NWSL press release. Reis cannot return to work until she has completed the mandatory training.
And there was more.
These findings were reported to NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman, NWSLPA executive director Meghann Burke and Orlando Pride ownership.
In June, Cromwell, Greene, Reis and assistant coach Michelle Akers raised complaints that they were subjected to various forms of misconduct, a Joint Investigative Team press release said. The league said that through a third-party investigator, conducted an investigation independent from the Joint Investigation into these claims. After a thorough investigation into the coaches’ complaints, the third-party investigator found that the coaches’ complaints were unsubstantiated.