May 19, 2022

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Pride of the Travel

Houston Dash suspend head coach, general manager James Clarkson amid harassment investigation

The Houston Dash suspended head coach and normal supervisor James Clarkson on Tuesday due to an ongoing investigation to “review latest and historic problems of discrimination, harassment and abuse.”

The Sprint stated an interim coach would be named in the coming days. Houston opens its National Women’s Soccer League common year Sunday in opposition to the growth San Diego Wave.

For every a information launch, the club acquired original findings from a joint investigation by the NWSL and NWSL Gamers Affiliation that commenced very last yr. The Sprint will await the remaining report prior to determining Clarkson’s long run.

“As an corporation, our greatest precedence is developing and protecting a risk-free and respectful function environment for our gamers and workers, which we think is crucial to our achievements on the pitch,” the Sprint reported in a assertion. “The Club has made counseling providers obtainable to all associates of the firm interested.”

In a joint release, the NWSL and NWSLPA advised that Clarkson be “suspended straight away pending the summary” of the investigation.

“Players created a assure to ourselves and foreseeable future generations to renovate our League — not through words and phrases, but with our steps,” NWSLPA Executive Director Meghann Burke said in a statement. “This demonstrates that our joint investigation is undertaking the perform of systemic transformation. The work carries on, and we commend Gamers for talking up and talking out.”

In a statement Wednesday, Clarkson denied the allegations.

“I am shocked. Thoroughly stunned,” he stated. “As a mentor I adore the staff and have often revered my gamers and staff. Any these allegations are definitely not accurate.”

Clarkson, 50, was named coach of the Dash forward of the 2019 time. In advance of that, he served as the academy director for Houston’s MLS counterpart, the Dynamo, and coached the club’s Leading Advancement League affiliate.

Related troubles beset the league in 2021 when the North Carolina Courage fired coach Paul Riley above mounting accusations of sexual misconduct towards his gamers when he earlier coached the Portland Thorns. The fallout involved the resignation of then-NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird.

The Washington Spirit fired mentor Richie Burke that very same thirty day period pursuing a Washington Publish story that featured allegations he made an abusive work surroundings for his players. And Chicago Pink Stars mentor Rory Dames resigned in November amid allegations that ranged from verbal abuse to jokes about players’ ethnicity and faith and poor expectations that gamers expend time with him beyond exercise.

In addition to the joint NWSL and NWSLPA investigation, the U.S. Soccer Federation has retained former acting legal professional typical Sally Yates to conduct an unbiased investigation, which remains ongoing.