Coach of NWSL’s Red Stars resigns days after championship loss amid report of emotional abuse


BRIDGEVIEW, IL - OCTOBER 20: Rory Dames head coach of the Chicago Red Stars is interviewed by the media during a game between Portland Thorns FC and Chicago Red Stars at SeatGeek Stadium on October 20, 2019 in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/ISI Photos/Getty Images).
Rory Dames is the fifth NWSL coach this season to face allegations of misconduct. (Daniel Bartel/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

Two days after his Chicago Red Stars misplaced the NWSL championship sport to the Washington Spirit, head coach Rory Dames has resigned.

The resignation of the 11-year Red Stars coach wasn’t related to Saturday’s finish consequence. Instead, it arrived hours sooner than the publication of a Washington Post report detailing years of allegations of emotional abuse by Red Stars avid gamers.

According to the Post, seven avid gamers along with U.S. Women’s National Team forward Christen Press suggested the publication that Dames repeatedly berated and emotionally abused avid gamers and sought inappropriate relationships with some.

“I think Rory emotionally abuses players,” Press, who carried out for the Red Stars from 2014-17, wrote in a correct criticism obtained by the Post. “He doesn’t have a safe distance between himself and his players. He uses his power and status as the coach to manipulate players and get close to them.”

Press: Ex-U.S. Soccer president dismissed points

The Post tales that Press filed her criticism in 2018 to U.S. Soccer, which oversees all ranges of soccer throughout the nation. She suggested the Post that she’d “been suggested to be quiet, that this was excellent” in response to her formal criticism.

Press moreover talked about that she’d raised points about Dames with then-U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati as early as 2014. She suggested the Post that Gulati dismissed her points on the time, calling Dames’ conduct anticipated of an skilled coach. Gulati declined comment to the Post, citing an ongoing U.S. Soccer investigation into the allegation.

Dames steps down, citing ‘family and future endeavors’

The Post tales that it approached the Red Stars on Monday with the participant complaints and purchased a response from a employees spokesperson promising an “independent review of player health and safety and the team’s work culture.” The Red Stars announced hours later that Dames had resigned alongside an announcement from Dames.

“Effective proper this second, I’m refocusing my consideration to my family and future endeavors, and I’m resigning as coach of the Chicago Red Stars,” Dames’ assertion reads.

The Red Stars moreover addressed Dames’ resignation in an announcement attributed to the employees.

“We ceaselessly take into account our employees and entrance office environment, and given the dynamic change underway throughout the league, it is time to begin the following chapter of the Red Stars with a search for brand spanking new administration of the employees,” the assertion reads.

Monday’s is the most recent in an NWSL season rocked by scandal, with Dames turning into the fifth coach in 2021 coping with misconduct allegations.

What Dames is accused of

One participant who chosen to remain anonymous described an “emotionally abusive” relationship with Dames whereby she talked about that her coach made frequent suggestions about her look and steadily texted her as late as 11:30 p.m. She talked about that he pressured her into spending time with him open air of their coach-player relationship, along with frequent invitations to lunch and dinner.

“I felt like I didn’t have the option to say no,” she talked about.

That participant suggested the Post that Dames retaliated when she lastly put up boundaries and that he benched her for preseason video video games and demoted her in observe when she developed a relationship with a extreme boyfriend.

“He would take me out of trainings altogether,” she talked about. “I would leave the trainings bawling. … “It was two weeks of hell.”

Multiple avid gamers suggested the Post that Dames repeatedly used particulars about avid gamers’ ethnicities and backgrounds to launch to launch personal assaults. Players suggested the Post that he often known as a participant from the Appalachian Mountains “trailer trash” and joked that an Asian participant must be smarter than she demonstrated on the sphere.

Players suggested the Post that they feared Dames would commerce them in retaliation within the occasion that they criticized him and that they withheld personal information from the coach to deny him fodder for his alleged personal assaults and vendettas.

“I realized that this man would use information he has about me in a way that will harm me, and in a way that he can manipulate me,” an anonymous participant suggested the Post. “I don’t want him to know about the things that matter most to me.”

Press suggested the Post that she felt compelled to speak out amid complaints from a quantity of avid gamers that Dames was manipulative and sought to say administration over avid gamers’ careers and personal lives.

“He asserts control like you’re a little girl, not an adult woman,” Press said. “When you can go out to a concert, when you can say something or you can’t say something, when you can see your family. It felt like it’s a disrespect that is related to gender.”

The Post moreover cited avid gamers who had praised Dames open air the context of the allegations in opposition to him, along with current Red Stars participant Morgan Gautrat, who talked about of Dames after Saturday’s championship recreation that “he;’s glue that’s held this employees collectively. … He’s pushed us and on the same time, he’s made people increased.”

Press: ‘Nobody cares’ about participant complaints

Multiple avid gamers who spoke with the Post talked about that they had been discouraged by U.S. Soccer’s investigation into the allegations and that they hadn’t heard from the group regardless of their need to discuss on the file. The Post moreover tales that Red Stars majority proprietor Arnim Whisler was acutely aware of the complaints about Dames and the U.S. Soccer investigation in 2018. He didn’t reply to a request for comment from the Post.

“I was terrified of what Rory would do and say if he found out this was something I’d said,” Press suggested the Post. “And then I was made to feel by U.S. Soccer that I was in the wrong, there was nothing to report, and that this was acceptable.”

“For so many women in this league, you think you don’t have any worth. And if you stand up and you say what you think is right or wrong, nobody cares.”

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