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Soccer Teams Pause Game to Support Players’ Accusations Against Coach


As the National Women’s Soccer League resumed play, the teams competing throughout the day paused their games in a show of unity.

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the professional soccer league returned to action for the first time since going on hiatus last week in light of player allegations against since-fired North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley. The three games taking place on Oct. 6 were all paused at the six-minute mark as players from both teams linked arms on the center circle. 

The National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, which represents players in the league, said in a statement posted to social media on Oct. 6 that the gesture was a show of support for Sinead Farrelly and Maya Shim. In an investigative report published by The Athletic on Thursday, Sept. 30, both women accused Riley of alleged abusive behavior.

“Teams will stop play in each of tonight’s games at the 6th minute,” the union’s message read. “Players will join together in solidarity at the center circle for one minute in recognition of the 6 years it took for Mana, Sinead and all those who fought for too long to be heard.” The union also detailed a list of demands for the league regarding investigations into abusive conduct.





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